Posted by News Express | 15 February 2020 | 627 times
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called for calm over the petitions and the public protest against the continued stay-without-transfer of an officer in the Enugu State Police Command, ACP Fidelis Ogarebe.
The officer was also accused professional misconduct thus creating loss of confidence by the citizens against the State Police Command.
The civil rights advocacy group addressed the hundreds of protesters who displayed several colorful banners at the just ended South East Security Summit in Enugu.
The protesters positioned themselves by the fence of the Enugu State Universal Education Board on Wednesday during the Summit carrying placards and banners expressing dismay over "the naked interference in a purely civil case by ACP Ogarebe in the Ugwuaji/Ogui Nike land dispute already in the court."
However, HURIWA said it has been contacted by some Enugu-based non-governmental organisations who disputed the accusations of the protesters against the ACP Ogerebe with some of them hailing the police officer as a “hardened crime fighter”.
The protesters stated that several petitions written against the erring police officer sent to the Police Service Commission (PSC) in Abuja are yet to be acted upon. The inactions of the PSC are said to be emboldening the police officer to defiantly interfere in matters already before a competent court of jurisdiction.
Some of the protesters asked: “Is Nigeria a Banana Republic that this brazen disrespect to the rule of law by serving police officer can go unchallenged?
“Did he join the NPF only to undermine the judicial process of a purely Otonozi Land situated at Ugwuaji Awkwunanaw that is a civil matter? How can the Nigerian police allow one man to reduce their duties to being merchants of Land grabbing?” they also asked as they submitted a written petition to the HURIWA team that visited Enugu to observe the Summit.
The protesters demanded the removal of the ACP Ogarabe from the State Command also on the ground of being in Enugu State for too long adding that there is more than meet the eyes on his perpetual staying in the state and manipulation of the system to remain in the state for too long.
Speakers at the event condemned the conduct of the police on land matter already before the court as reckless, unlawful, brazen impunity and unacceptable. One of the most vociferous speakers also said that they will reevaluate the protests.
They expressed surprise that even the military withdrew their involvement in the matter to show respect to the judicial process hence the matter is in court.
The ACP allegedly received many plots of land in the area as compensation for his aiding them in the criminal seizure of the land in question.
HURIWA disclosed that it has written to several International Human Rights organizations across the world such as Freedom House, National Endowment for Democracy and Robert Kennedy Foundation respectively in Washington DC on the refusal of the Police Service Commission to act on the petitions against the alleged unprofessional conduct of the police man.
“In due course the Human Rights campaigners will drag the Police Service Commission to court for failure to discharge her statutory mandates which is why there is a general breakdown of discipline and professionalism in the Nigerian Police Force.
“HURIWA may institute a suit before the ECOWAS Community Court for crimes against humanity against the PSC for aiding and abetting criminality and professional misconducts in the police and acts of brigandage against innocent Nigerian Citizens. If the IGP refuses to initiate disciplinary measures and immediate removal of the officer from the state.”
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