By Chimezie Godfrey
#TrackNigeria: The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged the National Assembly (NASS) to pass the Police Reform Bill to ensure the criminalisation of human rights violations by the Nigeria Police.
It also condemned the extra-judicial activities of the Police, which led to the recent killing of Kolade Johnson in Lagos.
A statement issued by the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani and made available to Newsdiaryonline Monday lamented the lack of adequate justice against extra-judicial killings by security agencies in the country.
Observing that the situation had promoted dehumanization, human rights violation, and disproportionate response to civil cases by the Police, he called for immediate operational review and re-alignment to accommodate well-defined rule of engagement in its dealing with civil cases.
“We are worried on the ruthless and ill-thought response by the Police in addressing civil cases, just as we bemoan needless brutalities leading to the untimely death and dehumanization of innocent citizens and arrogant display of lawlessness by the institution.
“It is worrisome that that poor intelligent gathering, inefficiency, and inadequate response capacity by the security forces has largely paved way for pervasive criminal activities and other social vices that remain unaddressed despite ceaseless public outcries.
“We are convinced that immediate passage of the awaiting Police Reform Bill by the National Assembly has become paramount to restore sanity and sanctity in the activities of the Police; and legitimately constrain and penalize Police operatives in the country against such undemocratic decision that to pull their guns while apprehending defenseless offenders of law or push citizens into custodial black holes without proper procedures,” Rafsanjani stated.
He added that this would ensure stringent safeguards to protect human rights, define a positive legal framework for effective policing, and ensure proper and lawful arrests generally, without unnecessary restraints.
According to Rafsanjani, the passage of Police Reform Bill would ensure the conduct of lawful searches of criminal suspects, examination and detention of suspects in humane holding facilities, with their rights to bail secured.
“We also call for proactive response, adequate intelligent gathering, encouragement and enhanced efficiency in the Police Force to effectively curtail widespread criminal cases that continue to exacerbate tension, insecurity and socio-economic uncertainty in the country,” he further stated.