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HURIWA advocates specialised institution to probe illegal use of firearms

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has advocated a specialised institution to investigate illegal use of firearms, saying the Police Service Commission (PSC) vested with the responsibility has failed in carrying out that function.

To this end, it urged the PSC headed by former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Musiliu Smith, to investigate alleged human rights violations of citizens by its officers, especially some of its commands in Enugu and Port Harcourt.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday in Abuja, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said cases of professional misconduct by police operatives were on the rise and the hierarchy seems not to be bothered about it.

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He said, “There is a more sinister issue that worries us and should worry all Nigerians, and that is that the PSC, which is the ombudsman that ought to check the excess of police officers is busy engaging in a war of attrition with the IGP over who should recruit constables.”

Onwubiko added that individual cases of indiscipline among officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) were seemingly unattended to or swept under the carpet against the powers and functions of the PSC, as stipulated in the nation’s constitution.

“We are disturbed by the unprecedented rise in cases of professional misconduct and indiscipline among the rank and file of the NPF and the attendant adverse consequences on the fundamental human rights of citizens.

“We call your attention to the many cases of police extra-judicial killings across the country. Recently in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, a group of mechanics was rounded up by the police and physically tortured and one of them shot dead while in detention, among other violations in the country.

We appeal to Nigerians to call on the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the PSC was not systematically killed, “because as it is, the increasing cases of police indiscretions could lead to people taking the laws into their hands, if they can’t find redress whenever their human rights are constantly violated.”

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