|Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday
The Rivers State Civil Society Organisation has called on the state Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, to ensure that operatives responsible for the illegal arrest, detention and torture of a boat helmsman, Lucky Onisokume, are identified and prosecuted.
Onisokume had demanded justice after accusing men of the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Team in Borikiri, Port Harcourt, of detaining him for five days without food and allegedly torturing him.
Reacting to the alleged torture, the spokesman for the group, Solomon Lenu, told journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday that it was sad that despite the recent #EndSARS protests, policemen still engaged in unprofessional conducts.
He said, “We call on the police commissioner in Rivers State, Mr Eboka Friday, to do all he can to keep his police officers in check, because he promised that this was never going to happen under his watch.
“Situations like this led to the #EndSARS protests that took place in this country and we felt that after that remarkable event, things will change.
“Unfortunately, things have not changed.”
He said the poor method of recruiting police officers and the ignorance of Nigerians on their rights were partly responsible for the continued human rights abuses by the police, adding that the concerned cops in the case of Onisokume should be made to face the wrath of the law so as to serve as a deterrent to others.
Similarly, a human rights lawyer, Henry Ekine, said for the police force to reduce the level of brutality and rights abuse among its personnel, the character of would-be police personnel should be checked before they would be admitted into the force.
Ekine noted that any Nigerian whose rights had been violated by the police was empowered by the Constitution to take legal actions.
He stated, “Section 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is to the effect that any person whose rights have been violated, are likely to be violated or being violated is entitled to seek redress.
“In his (Onisokume’s) own case, his rights have been violated; he has to proceed to the State High Court or the Federal High Court to take out a fundamental rights enforcement proceedings against the police, the IG and every element of the police force that took part in his torture,” he stated.
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