Connect with us


Police Brutality And The Rest Of Us



On December 23 last year, Chima Ikwunado, an automobile mechanic based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, died in the custody of the Nigerian Police few days after he was apprehended by the police who whisked him away alongside four other colleagues after they reportedly failed to meet “bribe” demanded from them. Chima was allegedly killed by some policemen, after undergoing “severe torture in their custody”.
Victor Ogbonna, one of the victims arrested alongside the deceased, said “They tortured Chima, broke his legs and Chima died in pain. They (police) hung Chima in the air for two hours and went on patrol, only to return afterwards to lose him. By then, he merely fell down like a cocoyam, already dead,” “So, they took him inside their vehicle and drove off. Chima died on December 23, according to what the boys told me.”
The case of Chima is one out of the avalanche of incidents of torture and ill-treatment of suspects held in the custody of the police. Victims and witnesses have disclosed at several fora that the forms of torture and other ill-treatment committed by the police included the tying of arms and legs tightly behind the body, suspension by hands and legs from the ceiling or a pole, repeated and severe beatings with metal or wooden objects (including planks of wood, iron bars, and cable wire), resting of concrete blocks on the arms and back while suspended, spraying of tear gas on the face and eyes, rape of and other sexual violence against female detainees, use of pliers or electric shocks on the penis, shooting on the foot or leg, stoning, death threats, slapping and kicking with hands and boots and denial of food and water.
A 23-three year-old man who was arrested by the police in Enugu described his mal-treatment to Human Rights Watch thus: “They handcuffed me and tied me with my hands behind my knees, a wooden rod behind my knees, and hung me from hooks on the wall, like goal posts. Then, they started beating me. They got a broomstick hair [bristle] and inserted it into my penis until there was blood coming out. Then, they put tear gas powder in a cloth and tied it round my eyes. They said they were going to shoot me unless I admitted I was the robber. This went on for four hours.”
In another account, a 36-year-old trader who was detained at the Kano police headquarters told researchers: “Our arms were tied with handcuffs. One at a time we were hung by a chain from the ceiling fan hook. I was the first. They started beating me with a yam pounder, saying I should confess for the robbery. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I was beaten, beaten, beaten. They beat my knees, the soles of my feet, my back and my joints. This went on for 25 minutes. I was beaten too much. I shit and piss while I was hanging. Then, I became unconscious.”
One factor is clear, The Police disregard for due process of law, which fuels the abuse of power, is characteristic to all the cases. Amongst the main concerns are deliberate practice of not informing suspects of the reasons for their arrest, lack of legal representation, prolonged pre-trial detention and acceptance by Magistrates and Judges of confessions that were extracted under torture.
Impunity among men of the Nigerian Police is one of the biggest single obstacles to the reduction of torture and other serious abuses by the police in Nigeria. Deeply engrained societal attitudes that accept police torture and other abuses as legitimate tools to combat crime help sustain this impunity. For many Nigerians who have experienced decades of oppression and brutality by military rulers, the use of violence by the institutions of the state is often accepted, even seen as normal.
Even when they know the police action is wrong, indeed illegal, the victims seem utterly powerless to seek redress. The fact that in all but a handful of cases, there was no accountability for violations committed by the individual police officer, no doubt embolden the perpetrators and has perpetuated the culture of violence in the Nigerian Police Force. Also, victims of police torture who attempt to attain accountability face numerous obstacles.
Official channels for registering complaints, such as the Police Complaints Bureau and the National Human Rights Commission, are acutely under-resourced and lack political support. In addition, the failure to carry out legally required inquests and autopsies on suspects who died in custody further impedes accountability. In the unlikely event that a legal case is brought against an officer, obstruction or lack of co-operation from the police and connivance with the lower cadres of the judiciary ensure that prosecution is rare.
National efforts to reform the police have, to date, been largely symbolic and consistently failed to prioritise human rights issues, including torture. An ambitious new program, launched by the Inspector General of Police, which offered some hope that more comprehensive and meaningful reform is at last being considered has not yielded the desired result.
A review of the Police Act will certainly be a welcome opportunity to bring the laws governing the police into line with international standards, particularly the inclusion of a code of conduct that specifically prohibits the use of torture. However, whether the police leadership can rise to the challenge and contest the many vested interests opposing change – both from inside the police force and in the wider environment – squarely lies with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The international community, in particular the British and United States governments, both of whom have since 1999 invested millions of dollars into developing the Nigerian Police Force, must also take a stronger stance to pressure the Nigerian government to bring about an end to the torture of detainees, address impunity for police abuses and bring about genuine reforms.
Both governments have repeatedly assured human rights propagators that they are voicing concerns about human rights issues with the Nigerian authorities. However, this approach has proven to be largely ineffective as police abuses, including routine torture, persist.
Therefore, the British and the U.S. governments should at the very least condition continue the financial assistance, equipment and training they provide to the Nigerian police. Also, the British and U.S. governments should come forth to publicly denounce torture and killings by the Nigerian Police Force.


Amieyeofori Ibim

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


COVID-19 Decisions Are Taken By State Security Council – Governor Wike



Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the State Security Council takes all decisions  in  the prosecution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

Governor Wike who stated this on Tuesday when the Executive of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Rivers State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt pointed out that he has never taken any unilateral decision.

The State Chief Executive noted that all decisions taken by the State Government are for the overall good and interest of the Rivers people as no right thinking government would deliberately take decisions that would negatively affect the lives of the people.


“I don’t take decisions alone in the fight against COVID-19. All decisions are taken  by the State Security Council and they are for the overall interest of Rivers people.

” You know people applaud government decisions when it  suits them but when it does not favour them they say it is  politically motivated.

“Rivers State Government does not have anything against hoteliers in the state, but decided to shutdown their activities because some cases of  COVID-19 were recorded in hotels,” he stated.

Governor Wike also blamed the hoteliers for failing to assist government in providing relevant information regarding those that test positive of the coronavirus in their hotels.

According to him, adequate information would have helped  the State Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies to carry out proper contact tracing.

“Its not possible that the State Government will intentionally close down hotels. But what I see is that people play politics with everything.

“The  demolition of Prodest Hotel and Etemeteh Hotel in Eleme Local Government Area by the State Government became necessary because the owners failed to comply with  Executive Order 7,” he said.


The State Chief Executive stated that he is more pained than any other person in the state that churches and mosques are not holding their full religious activities because of COVID-19.

“I can’t believe that I will be sitting here as a Governor and take a painful decision that will make  churches and mosques not to hold full religious activities, ” he said.

The Governor lauded members of the State Chapter of Nigeria Hotel Association for identifying with government efforts in the fight against COVID- 19.


Earlier, the State Chairman, Nigeria Hotel Association, Mr. Eugene Nwauzi commended Governor Wike for leading the fight against coronavirus in the country.

Mr. Nwauzi noted that but for the efforts put in place by the Governor, the spread of COVID-19 would have taken a dangerous dimension in the state.

He however appealed to the State Government to  relax the ban on hotel businesses, assuring that all protocols put in place for the containment of the spread of the virus would be fully observed by hoteliers.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading


RSG Cancels Lockdown Of Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt Local Government



? Imposes state-wide curfew 8p.m to 6a.m from June 2, 2020 till further notice
? Uncovers plan by one Bobosky to instigate violence in 6 LGAs
? Investigating alleged outbreak of coronavirus in Bonny LGA

Rivers State Government has cancelled the proposed lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas scheduled to resume tomorrow.

Governor Nyesom Wike who stated this in a state-wide broadcast also announced the imposition of 8p.m to 6am curfew in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State with effect from June 2,2020 till further notice.

The Governor also revealed that government has uncovered plans by some criminal elements led by one Bobosky to cause security breaches in Khana, Eleme,Gokana, Tai, Oyigbo and Ikwerre Local Government Areas.

“After a comprehensive review of the measures taken and further considerations placed before us by well-meaning members of the public, the State Security Council has decided to cancel the proposed lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the State.

“In essence, no part of Rivers State is or will be under any lockdown from this moment and this will be so, except where it becomes necessary again.

“As we all know, the regular washing of hands, religious wearing of face masks, keeping effective physical and social distance of between 1.5 to 2 meters from other people, completely avoiding touching of faces with unwashed hands, and cleaning of surfaces we regularly touch have been identified as some of the most effective measures against contracting this virus in the absence of vaccine, ” he said.


According to the Governor, government would re-enforce the decisions on the continuous implementation of the following measures throughout the State:

(i) All land borders, including all exit and entry routes into Rivers State shall remain closed to human and vehicular traffic, except those on essential services and duly exempted.

(ii) All residents must wear face masks or covering into any public space, including our roads, banks, shopping malls, shops, hotels and in any lawful social gathering.

(iii) The State task force and the security agencies have been directed to arrest and summarily prosecute any person seen on our streets or any other public place without wearing face masks.

(iv) All banks, motor parks, hotels, restaurants, shops, business centres, shopping malls, and offices must maintain social distancing and enforce the wearing of face masks in their premises.


(v) The State task force and security agencies have been directed to seal up, prosecute and confiscate to the State any bank, shopping mall, restaurant, shop, business place or office that fails to enforce social distancing and the wearing of face masks in its premises.

(vi) In addition to providing daily guest list to the Police and the Department of State Security, hoteliers must not host large gatherings, including parties and receptions. Defaulting hotels will be sealed-up and the owners summarily prosecuted.

(vii) All bars, beer palours, or drinking joints, night-clubs, viewing centres, open markets and cinemas shall remain closed until further notice;

(viii) Oil mill market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall remain closed until further notice;

(ix) Oginigba Slaughter market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall similarly remain closed until further notice.


(x) Mbiama market in Ahoada West Local Government Area shall also remain closed until further notice;

(xi) All public weddings, burials and large social gatherings shall remain banned.

(xii) Churches and other religious gatherings should continue to comply with the existing advisory on social distancing, initiate temperature checks and enforce the wearing of face masks during their activities;

(xiii) Dealers in Ikoku Spare Parts markets are warned for the last time to stop converting public roads to mechanic workshops or risk final closure.

(xiv) Similarly, no mechanic workshop should be found along Ikwerre road as Government will prosecute defaulters and confiscate any vehicle being repaired on any public road.

(xv) Private and commercial vehicles, including tricycles must continue to limit their passengers to the number earlier established and enforce the wearing of face masks by all passengers. Defaulters will be prosecuted and their vehicles confiscated by the Task force.

These measures, he said, are in the best interest of our State, to protect our lives, businesses, and jobs as well as, to prevent our troubled economy from suffering irreparable damage.

“This also means that, residents now bear much greater responsibility to stop and prevent our State from suffering the exponential and potentially devastating spread of the virus being experienced across the

“As 60% of the positive cases recorded in the State are connected with oil company workers, we have initiated a meeting with all the major oil companies to work out strategies on how we can stop this trend and stop the risk this category of workers now pose to the State.

“Government is also investigating the rumored or suspected outbreak of the coronavirus at Bonny Island.


“Our team of medical personnel led by the Commissioner for Health has visited Bonny Island and collected samples from suspected cases for analysis and immediate intervention should the results indicate the outbreak of the virus in the area, “the governor said.

The State Chief Executive also revealed that intelligence has intercepted a clandestine plan by some criminal elements led by Bobosky to cause security breaches in the State by instigating violence and burning down churches in Khana, Eleme, Gokana, Tai and Oyigbo Local Government Areas of the State.

He  assured all residents that the State Government is fully ready and prepared to deal with the situation and continue to guarantee the protection of lives and property throughout the State.

The Governor implored all residents to be vigilant and report all suspicious characters and movements in their neighbourhoods to security agencies.


“Leaders and vigilante groups in our communities are to work with the security agencies to enforce  curfew in their localities and arrest and prosecute anyone that violates the curfew order.

“We urge our people to stop the fake news on social media; stop the baseless bickering, the needless blame game, and the seditious rumours that does no good to our image or provide any solution to the common challenges that we face.

“Rather, we should all come together, put our fate in our own hands and work for the common good of all, whether as individuals, families or as communities,” he stated.

The Governor commended all health workers who have continued to put their lives at risk in the forefront in the battle against  COVID-19.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading


Governor Wike Releases N450M To 2019 Presidential Election Violence Victims In Abonnema



The State Chief Executive Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has released the sum of Four hundred and fifty million naira to the victims of the 2019 Presidential election violence in Abonnema.
Speaking during  a meeting preparatory to giving out the cash, Governor Wike  said the gesture is in fulfilment of his promise to the people of Abonnema  at the Church service to honour those who lost their lives, the injured and those who lost properties during the crisis.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government Dr. Tammy Wenike  Danagogo, Governor Wike said no amount of money could adequately compensate the people for the harrowing experience they suffered in the hands of the Nigerian Army, stating that he appreciates the support and commitment of the People of  Akuku Toru Local Government Area before, during and after the elections. He said he would continue to execute programmes that would positively impact on the lives of the people of the  Area.
He assured them that the second phase of the Abonnema ring road would be commissioned before the end of June, stressing that the contractor has been fully paid.
According to him in the face of the Covid 19 Pandemic he has continued to stand by the People of the State by taking practical steps not only to protect Rivers People but to also provide palliatives to bring succour to the vulnerable and less privileged unlike the   selfish politicians in other political  parties who only visit the people to solicit for votes during elections but do not have the interest of the people at heart.
In his remarks the Amayanabo of Abonnema King Disrael  Gbobo Bobmanuel thanked  Governor Wike for fulfilling his promise to the Abonnema People, noting that the Governor has proven over the years that his word is his bond.
According to him the Governor is a man worthy of trust and support because he has fulfilled all his promises to the Abonnema People. He Advised beneficiaries to make judicious use of the Money the Governor has graciously given to them.
Earlier the Chairman of Akuku Toru Local Government Area Hon. Roland Sekibo who said he is still traumatized by the events that took place during the Presidential election in 2019 expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for his kind gesture, stressing that the People of his Local Government Area would continue to support the Governor in his quest to improve the lives of Rivers People.
Also speaking one of the beneficiaries Mr  Minamiango Romeo  who sustained gunshot injuries  expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for not abandoning them in their time of need and promised to continue to support his Administration and the leaders of the Local Government Area.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading