Alleged Police Brutality: CSOs stage protest in Enugu over female lawyers - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News

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Tuesday, February 4

Alleged Police Brutality: CSOs stage protest in Enugu over female lawyers




A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, on Monday took over major streets in Enugu metropolis protesting police alleged brutality on members of staff of a non-governmental organisation, Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL).
Saga Gist had earlier reported that the said attack on WACOL staff left at least one of the female lawyers critically injured.
She was said to have been rushed to the intensive care unit of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu.
The development, which has been generating ripples across the country, led to the Monday protest.
The protesting human rights activists were drawn from Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization, (CAPIO); Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, (PRAWA); Civil Liberties Organizations, (CLO); Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL) among others.
They carried placards with various inscriptions, chanting “justice for WACOL”; “Justice for women”; “Justice for human rights defenders”; “End police brutality against human rights defenders.”
Our correspondent reports that the protesting activists marched to the Enugu State Police Command where they delivered a letter for onward transmission to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu.
Addressing journalists at the headquarters of WACOL, the Founding Director, Professor Joy Ezeilo, described the police invasion of WACOL office and brutality against staff of the organisation as the height of police impunity and act of terrorism by security personnel.
Ezeilo, who is the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria Nsukka, disclosed that the unwarranted reign of terror and abuse of police power was carried out by four police officers.
She further alleged that the police carried out the act in a bid to shield a rape suspect from prosecution.
The activist, who said that this was not the first time police from the same Area Command had invaded their office and brutalized staff, demanded an independent investigation panel that would not be controlled by the police and whose membership should include the Nigerian Bar Association, civil society organizations, and internationally recognised independent observers.
Ezeilo further called for “immediate steps to bring this brazen act of impunity of police to an end. Police brutality and abuse of power in Nigeria is a continuing threat to the enjoyment of individual fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.
“Transfer the rape case in question out of Enugu to ensure unbiased investigations into the matter, including for the security of the complainant, witnesses and WACOL team, especially Ms. Goodness that has been threatened severally by both the perpetrator’s family and the police at the Area Command.”
In the meantime, the Enugu State Police Command in a statement said it has constituted a Panel of Enquiry to look into the matter.
The statement signed by its spokesman, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, assured Nigerians that the “ongoing investigations into the matter will be meticulous, fair and just to bring anyone found culpable to book, irrespective of whose Ox is gored.”

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