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Police to Amnesty: 22 officers were killed by protesters — they had rights too

Police to Amnesty: 22 officers were killed by protesters — they had rights too
October 30
10:06 2020

The police have responded to the report by Amnesty International alleging that the security agency shot citizens protesting against law enforcement brutality. 

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About two weeks ago, protests calling for the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) took flight across the country.

The police unit was disbanded but the protests persisted as citizens demanded reforms in the force.

The mass action took a nose-dive after hoodlums exploited the situation to inflict harm on citizens, security agents as well raze public and private infrastructure.

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Amnesty International accused the police and the military of violating the rights of Nigerians demanding reforms in the police — particularly on the incident at the Lekki tollgate and Alausa in Lagos state where protesters were allegedly shot by soldiers and the police.

But in a statement on Friday, Frank Mba, police spokesman, alleged that 22 policemen were killed by protesters, adding that the slain officers had rights as well.

”The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has affirmed that officers of the Nigeria Police Force acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country. The IGP made this observation following report by Amnesty International dated 21st October, 2020 that Police personnel shot at peaceful protesters. He described the Amnesty Int’l report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidences,” he said.

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”The IGP noted that during the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters. He reiterated that even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.

”Available Reports show that twenty-two (22) police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests. Many of the injured personnel are in life threatening conditions at the hospitals. Two hundred and five (205) Police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters. Despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report. It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to Police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland. The Force decries the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by Amnesty International as seen in the report. One wonders if in the estimation of Amnesty International, police officers are not also human beings equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.”

 

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