- Press Release
Centre for Human Rights Advocacy and Wholesome Society (CEHRAWS), a member of Abia Civil Society Network (ACSON) has condemned in its totality, the trending unethical attitude of some Nigeria Police Force (NPF) personnel deployed to the city of Aba, who have on several occasions perpetrated all kinds of Police brutality/mass atrocities, ranging from illegal confiscation of properties, malicious damage, arson, unlawful mass arrest, detention and extortion, extrajudicial killings including other crimes/rights abuses.
The aforesaid misconduct of some Nigeria Police Force (NPF) personnel being perpetrated with impunity has somewhat contributed to the dwindling economy of the said ancient city of Aba, in an unimaginable proportion.
Also has led to the upsurge of criminal elements and activities, an increment of public mistrust in the institution, and perceived looming public disorder.
All these have caused the exodus of some vulnerable inhabitants, especially the petty traders who have been victims of the said brutality and gross abuse, to the neighboring cities, States, or their homesteads.
Fortunately, CEHRAWS has over the years been playing vital roles in advocating for Police reform, reporting, and legally engaging some of the unethical personnel of the Nigeria Police Force in Abia State and the city of Aba in particular, to entrench a wholesome society.
Presently, CEHRAWS is documenting the victims of Police brutality in the hands of the Rapid Responds Squad (RRS) unit of the NPF in Aba, because of the increasing public outcry about their gross misconduct.
Disappointedly, the inhabitants of the Ohanku/Iheorji area of the Ndeogoro community witness the worst kind of State-Sponsored-Mass-Atrocity: houses set ablaze, properties looted and maliciously damaged, innocent citizens arrested, detained, and extorted with impunity, by the Policemen in Aba, especially those stationed at the Ndeogoro Police Division (Cameroon Barracks) when they collectively embarked on reprisal attacks of the killing of their colleague by unidentified hoodlums last week.
You can recall that a similar ugly incident was meted out to the inhabitants of Degema and Oko-Jumbo Street of the same Ndeogoro Community in 2019, which left many persons homeless, depressed, and critically ill, and a few others to their early graves.
Unfortunately, the victims of Degema and Oko-Jumbo State-Sponsored-Mass-Atrocity are yet to be compensated, white paper/report of the Judiciary Panel of Inquiry set up by the Abia State government has not been made public to date.
‘Such inexcusable insensitivity of the government and barbaric operational method of the NPF can only push one to assume that we now live in an ungoverned or poorly governed space which could be attributed to as a failed State’.
During CEHRAWS’s on-the-spot assessment of the said area over the weekend, it was discovered that up to twelve (12) shops were set ablaze, more than ten (10) shops and fifteen (15) buildings were looted and damaged.
However, as of the time of the visit, the area was somewhat deserted following frequent visits and arrests by the Police.
CEHRAWS was privileged to meet the Iheorji traditional ruler, HRM Eze Ibe Enyeazu (Ogele-Ukwu), Chairman of Aba South Local Government (LGA) Traditional Rulers’ Council and one of his council chiefs who took the team round the community to ascertain the level of damages incurred.
All efforts made to engage the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Cameroun Barracks and the Aba Area Commander failed as they were reportedly not on site.
CEHRAWS commends the Abia State Governor (Okezie Ikpeazu Ph.D.) for his proactive intervention which has somewhat put a stop to the Police raiding of that neighborhood.
The governor is hereby advised to also set up a committee to document the damages/losses incurred by the indigent inhabitants of that area and have them compensated.
In addition, CEHRAWS humbly urges the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Police Service Commission to intervene in this matter, most importantly calling the RRS Police unity in Aba to order including other Police Divisions within Aba and its environs, and also the redeployment of all Police officers at the notorious Ndeogoro Police Division (Cameroon Barracks), to avert the perceived looming public outburst and possibly reduce the high level of mistrust masses have on the institution.
Okoye, Chuka Peter
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