Groups task rivers government on ending human rights violation
Rivers State government has been urged to immediately bring an end to the violation of human rights perpetrated by Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Security Peace and Advisory Council (OSPAC) Vigilante group.
The Social Development Integrated Centre, Social Action, in collaboration with the Civil Rights Council (CRC), in a report made available to The Guardian, accused OSPAC of illegally detaining and torturing innocent persons on suspicion of being connected to cultism and kidnapping in the state.
Social Action and CRC said rather than turn a blind eye to the impunity and lawlessness by OSPAC members in addressing insecurity in the state, the state government should legitimately adopt the group as a state-owned vigilante group through the instrumentality of a law, which must be duly passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The civil society groups said there have been several reports of human rights violations perpetrated by members of OSPAC, a vigilante group set up in 2016 at Omoku, following increase in crime rate and state security agencies’ failure to successfully tackle the problem.
The groups said they have noted that the mode of operation of OSPAC, which has since expanded to other parts of the state including Emohua and Ikwerre Local Councils included arrest, detention and torture of persons suspected to be cultists or criminals.
They claimed that many persons have been wrongly arrested, detained and treated in an inhumane and degrading manner by OSPAC, which violates the presumption of innocence of an accused person.
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