Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has described the reaction of the Imo State government to the invasion of a Church and the violent arrest of the former gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 Imo election Uche Nwosu as nothing but a celebration of utter nonsense borne out of crass ignorance.
HURIWA recalled that while addressing reporters on Sunday in Owerri hours after the incident of the forceful arrest of Nwosu, the Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Declan Emelumba claimed that it was not in anybody’s place to tell the police how to arrest a suspect.
The police were said to have created panic at Eziama-Obaire in Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo as they stormed St. Peter’s Anglican Church and left with Nwosu.
However, in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Dozie Onwubiko dismissed the notion that the police has the right to adopt any style they deemed necessary in arresting accused persons, describing the speech as an ‘illiterate’ statement which attempts to justify police brutality and amounted to a fallacy because it seeks to state that Nigeria is a jungle where might is right and the rule of brute force holds sway
HURIWA has therefore challenged the Imo State Information Commissioner to come for tutorials at its Legal department to understudy the essence, import and significance of the newly signed THE NEW POLICE ACT, 2020 and chapter four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
“HURIWA wishes to refer to the scholarly presentation on the summary of the new Police Act done by some legal experts in which they rightly averred that the Nigeria Police Force (Establishment) Act, 2020 (‘the new Act’) which came into force on the 17th of September 2020, repealed the Police Act of 2004 even as the legal opinion moulders stated that the general objective of the new Act is to provide an effective police service that is based on the principles of accountability and transparency, protection of human rights, and partnership with other security agencies. In achieving this objective, the Act did not only improve on the provisions of the erstwhile Act, it has its own novel provisions.”
HURIWA pointed the need for the observance of the right to the human dignity of the person said to be in conflict with the law.
HURIWA restated that in ensuring that the new Police Act fulfils its objectives, provisions were made in accordance with global best practices and in compliance with some recent National Laws on Administration of Justice in Nigeria. This is to eliminate the areas of seeming discrepancies between the old Police Act and other corresponding national Legislations.
HURIWA said the violent abduction of Uche Nwosu from the Church and the attack on his wife and his mother in law by the arresting armed officers clearly violates the provision of the new Police Act on the Notification of Next of Kin
HURIWA said the deployment of physical torture violates both the newly domesticated anti-torture legislation and its provision in the 2020 Police Act that outlaws Torture and Inhumane Treatment just as the New Act provides for the right to the dignity of the human person as a fundamental right guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution.
“A person who is arrested must also be granted this right. He must not be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. This provision is also included in Section8(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015. “