Group decries Police brutality on crime suspects

Police cell

Henry Ojelu

Crime suspects at a Police cell
Crime suspects at a Police cell

A group, Justice for All (J4A) has lamented the brutal treatment of suspects and detainees at various police stations in the country. It urged the Nigeria Police Force to respect the right of every suspect in their custody.

At a collaborative forum between the Nigerian Police Force and the Lagos legal advice and monitoring team of the group held at the Bar Centre of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja, the Coordinator of J4A, Alimosho, Barrister Derinsola Kappo said the group’s interaction with police officers at various police stations shows the Nigerian police needs to be sensitise on the need to respect human rights of detainees.

“The J4A is to assist those detained at the police stations. Suspects sometimes come out of the police station and accused the police of brutalising and extorting them. We should make police realise that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty by a court, hence they should be treated with dignity while in police custody, “she said.

She added: “Sometimes, police have accused us (J4A) of being overbearing but we want to assure them that we will work hand-in-hand with them to make their job easy.”

In his comment, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bariga Police Station, Ismail Amusa, said the Nigerian police have been trained to respect the right of suspects but lamented that some police officers are yet to abide by the training.

“Right from recruit, we were taught the rights of suspects. There is no law that says a suspect should be tortured. The Nigeria Police Force of today is more conscious of the rights of suspects. We don’t torture suspects.

Guest speaker at the event, Barrister Olanrewaju Akinbo urged the police to abide by law and ensure the rights of suspects are upheld.

“Whether the accused is going to be jailed or not, there is presumption of innocent,” he said