The Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, unreservedly condemns the recent shooting of Mr. Chibuisi in Ururuka Road within Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia state by one Inspector Stanley of Ohuru isimiri Police Station , by Glass Industry,Ogbor Hill,Aba.Abia State.
The tragic event occurred during the recent lockdown order by the state government. As a Rights group, FENRAD condemns the act which led to untimely death of the victim afterwards.
It should be recalled that prior to the lockdown, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, on March 23, issued a directive to all Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) of Police and State Commissioners of Police (CPs) through a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Frank Mbah, to ensure that men of the force – under their various commands – desist from “unnecessary arrests” and unlawful “detention” of citizens barring cases like kidnapping, murder and homicide during this time of Covid-19 pandemic.
The directive further warned officers and men of the force to follow the laid down rules of engagement in a time like this. FENRAD unequivocally states that this shooting is inconsistent with the operational guideline quoted above and as well violates and infringes the fundamental rights of the citizen/victim; especially that to life.
Since the prima facie culprit is already in police custody (with State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID), FENRAD demands that due recourse to the law facilities be taken and justice expeditiously dispensed. It beats no common sense that it takes unlocking the safety of a loaded riffle or weapon and then a press of the trigger to fire a shot.
At peace time, when the only war facing humanity is a pandemic, a police inspector releases a bullet at an unarmed civilian. At what point of extremity is a trained, disciplined officer required to engage the trigger other than at war time? Such can only come from a trigger-happy fellow.
It is FENRAD’s demand that, if found guilty, the said Inspector Stanley be publicly tried and dealt with as is the law.
FENRAD wishes also to remind men and officers of the force that its recent activities in Aba are becoming insufferable and call for an inward review, especially how the lockdown is being enforced. The notice of the group has been brought to daily developments in this regard.
This brutality and maximum show of naked force did not start with this lockdown period. Only last year, men of the police while avenging for the killing of an officer, along Okojumbo, Ibadan street axis in Aba, raided and razed houses whereupon monies, valuables and chattels were lost to an incendiary attack.
FENRAD urges the state government to make known its committee’s report on the said incident or to expedite same.
The duty of the police, everywhere, is to ensure protection and not destruction of lives, while the best policing is that which is done in accordance with relevant laws and which promotes friendly police/citizens constructive relationship.
While this is the case, we urge the state government under the Ikpeazu-led administration to, as a matter of urgency, look into this latest issue and ensure that justice is done just like when an army officer, Lance Cpl Ajayi Johnson shot a tricycle operator, Mr. Chimaobi Nwaogwu at point blank, killing him for N100 bribe.
As a rights group, FENRAD is committed to peace and security of lives of citizens and also believes that the Nigerian police can ensure this.
FENRAD understands what is happening elsewhere, especially, in Delta state and wishes not same for Abia just as it enjoins all Abians to observe the “stay-at-home” order to help the state and relevant authorities to contain the dreaded novel Coronavirus disease of 2019 (Covid-19, for short) and also remain steadfastly law-abiding.
Again, as a group that believes and respects constituted and lawful authorities, FENRAD urges the Nigerian Police state command to carry out its constitutional work without violation of rights of citizens, in line with rules of engagement and best practices.