Amnesty International’s report misleading —Police

Nigerian Police, on Thursday, faulted the report by the  Amnesty International against  it  as misleading, a clear misrepresentation of facts, unverified accounts and absolute distortion of the current situation in the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), in the country.

It argued that the report was evidently the characteristic mindset and pattern of Amnesty International to   castigate public institutions, especially, in developing countries like Nigeria.

The force equally described the Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher, Damian Ugwu’s choice of words in describing the operations of SARS as one that portrayed the researcher’s apparent ignorance of the rules of engagement of SARS and the laws regulating criminal investigation in Nigeria.

In a reaction to the report, the police said the researcher deliberately misconstrued the cautionary words, a prerequisite for suspects to sign before voluntary statement is taken from them as “death warrant”.

It said that the Nigeria Police  has in place a functional and pragmatic disciplinary measure against erring officers and men and has charged to court, police officers involved in proven cases of violations of the  rights of suspects in detention.

“It is incumbent on the force to educate the writer that the Nigeria Police  and its officers are committed to upholding the fundamental Human Rights of every Nigerian as enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution and also in accordance to Africa Charter of Rights and United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Our guiding principles are democratic policing and international best practices in criminal investigation.

“The Nigeria Police do not tolerate or condone torture in any form.  The Inspector General of Police,  Ibrahim  Idris, upon assumption of office, conducted an audit of SARS rules of engagement.

“The force has been working with critical stakeholders in the criminal justice system in the country and other local and international  non governmental organisations(NGOs) and partners, including foreign embassies  as well as  international human rights organisations, to train and retrain police personnel to conform to international best practices on care and custody of detainees in its detention facilities across the country.