By Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The Inspector General of Police (IG) Mohammed Adamu has reiterated the resolve of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to end all forms of human rights abuses which had negatively affected the image of the Force.
Adamu made this known during the opening ceremony of a five-day capacity training on Human Rights organised by the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) for officers at the Police Detective College, Enugu.
Adamu, who was represented by the Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Finihan Adeoye, said that there have been series of efforts aimed at ensuring that men and women of the NPF are repositioned for better service delivery.
He said that the entire duty of maintenance of law and order, protection of lives and property, apprehension of offenders, investigation of offenders and prosecution which are contained in section 4 of the Police Act are for the purpose of ensuring that the rights of the people are not unlawfully violated or trampled upon.
He however noted that it becomes unacceptable when officers of the Force who are saddled with the responsibility of protecting these rights are found violating the same rights they ought to protect
“In a bid to ensure that officers of the Force carry out their duties to the core, training and retraining of officers have been identified as the key measures and that is why the IG has decided to go into partnership with critical stakeholders such as PRAWA and other international organizations, believing that it will enhance their capacity and improve their performance,” he said.
While noting that the Force was seriously against any violation of rights, he said that there are adequate sanctions which will be meted out to any officer who is found wanting of violating humans rights.
He advised all participants to ensure that they pay full attention to the training, as whatever they learn from the five-day training will go a long way in positively affecting their attitudes.
Earlier in her address, the Executive Director, PRAWA, Uju Agomor, said that there was the need for attitudinal change among officers of the police which is why the training is very important.
According to her, the officers need to understand the principles of human rights as well as the observance of these rights which will help them better to carry out their duties of protecting the lives and property of citizens
“We want to make them understand that human rights do not conflict with their functions as officers and that it is a question of knowing how to strike a balance to make sure that individuals’ rights are protected,” she said.
Speaking further, she said: “Once they understand this and change their attitudes, they will begin to do the things that will endear them to members of the public. The police need the public to provide them with valid information.”