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IGP faults Amnesty International report on EndSARS protesters attack

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As judicial panels of inquiry inaugurated by State Governors begin investigations on EndSARS protesters attack in Nigeria, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has faulted claims by a global Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Amnesty International (AI), on claims that the law enforcement officers shot at peaceful protesters during attacks on public and private property across the states.

Adamu affirmed that officers of the Nigeria Police acted professionally and exercised commendable restraints while some were killed as well as others that suffered severe injuries allegedly inflicted on them by persons that hide under the protesters’ umbrella during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of Nigeria.

The IGP, who faulted AI observation in its report that Police personnel shot at peaceful protesters, on Friday, described the claims by the organisation as untrue and at variance with what transpired across the country.

He noted that during the protests, policemen used legitimate means to ensure protests were carried out peacefully and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.

Through a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, the IGP 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.

It said: “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. 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 the 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 persons.
“The IGP, while noting that the Force is committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing holistic reforms of the NPF targeted at improving service delivery, positive police-citizen relationship, and respect for human rights, enjoins Amnesty International to ensure they subject their reports to adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public”.

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