HURIWA Wants Independent Body to Probe Police’s Misuse of Arms

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Esther Oluku

Worried by the inability of the Police Service Commission (PSC) to independently investigate widespread Police misconduct in the misuse of firearms, a call has been made by HURIWA to the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to establish an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) to investigate police’s misuse of arms.

In a statement made available to THISDAY, HURIWA said the establishment of an Independent Police Conduct Authority was necessary to forestall a break-out of popular discontent and mass action against the Nigeria Police Force for the widespread misuse of firearms targeting innocent Nigerians, insisting that in the last two decades over 10,000 Nigerians have died from police extrajudicial executions.

The group maintained that discipline of the Police Service Commission, which as under the auspices of the retired Police Inspector General is not independent and lacks capacity and skills necessary for determining when police operatives have misused their fire arms against civilians. This, it continued, has made it more than necessary for Nigeria to now establish an Independent Police Conduct Authority just like what obtains in United Kingdom and New Zealand to be specific.

The spokesperson for the organisation said that, “police extra-legal executions are serious crimes against humanity which had even attracted the attention of the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings who visited Nigeria and compiled extensive statistics of thousands of suspects murdered by the police illegally.

“Police orderly room trials are not transparent enough. The court system handling investigation of cases of extralegal killings by the police most times are compromised to mess up the evidence gathering mechanisms and thereby enabling the suspected police killers to escape the long arm of the law.”

Nigeria needs a panel similar to the Independent Police Conduct Authority to handle complaints about the police just like the New Zealand police which is independent and is headed by a judge that do not answer to the police, the government or anyone else about their findings.” He said.

HURIWA similarly affirmed that it was drawing up a private bill to be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to create the Independent Police Conducts Complaints Authority in Nigeria.