Group calls for adherence to human rights
With the brazen manner, which citizens rights are being trampled by the day, especially by law enforcement agencies, founder, Crime Victims Foundation of Nigeria (CRIVIFON), Mrs. Gloria Egbuji, has urged the Federal Government to embark on a massive awareness creation exercise on the rights of citizens.
Egbuji spoke at a training for police officers on human rights, and the presentation of award to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 2, Lawal Shehu, which was sponsored by CRIVIFON and Human Rights Education and Awareness Centre (HUREC), at the Nigerian Police Force Zone 2 Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos.
According to her, some policemen have lost touch with what the law says, and even how they should relate with the citizenry hence the need for them to be re-educated.
She said: “We notice that there are lots of abuses like violation of human rights by people who are supposed to be protecting the people. Through research, we realised that they are ignorant. Some of them don’t know that they are not supposed to collect money for bail; some of them don’t know that you don’t have to talk if you want in police station.
“We have discovered through research that these people are not knowledgeable about people’s right so rather than stand by the side and criticize them we felt it was good to educate them. Since we started it, we realized that some of them have never attended any course since they came out from Police College.”
She added that it was alarming that children who commit crimes were being treated as criminal which the child rights act of the country forbids it.
“Child rights act is an act that came into being out of National Assembly in 2003 by former president Olusegun Obasanjo regime, that act totally changed the other juvenile act justice and other ones that put the age of a child at 7 and 14 respectively but the child right act is just the we have all over the world, 18 years.
“Somebody who is not up to 18years is a child, that law has been very protective of children and young people. But we still find issues with it with the police. Police are ignorant of this rights and it is making them to treat children as adult. It is not as if they don’t commit crime but the treatment given to them should be different because they are not developed to what an adult can do, so, even if they go into crime, they don’t just wake up and do it, they went into crime because of shortfall in their upbringing or lack of parental care.”
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