Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has dismissed report by Amnesty International, accusing the police personnel of shoting at peaceful protesters.
While affirming that officers of the Nigeria Police Force acted professionally, Adamu said his men exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country.
Reacting to the report by Amnesty International dated October 21 that police personnel shot at peaceful protesters, the police chief described the Amnesty International report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidences.
He noted that during the protests, police officers “used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.”
He 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.
“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.
“Two hundred and five (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 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 person,” said Adamu, in a statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.
The Inspector General of Police, while noting that NPF is committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing holistic reforms of the Force targeted at improving service delivery, positive police-citizen relationship and respect for human rights, enjoined Amnesty International to ensure they subject their reports to adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public.