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Anambra, Enugu Police commands with highest rights abuse record in Nigeria —NGO

A non-governmental organisation, Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) based in France, has identified  Anambra and Enugu state commands of the Nigerian Police Force as possessing the highest record of human rights abuse in Nigeria.

The NGO specialises in the defence of human rights and justice.

According to the body, out of 50 cases of torture and various human rights abuses in the Enugu Command of the Nigeria Police Force, 40 had to do with gunshot wounds.

It said such cases were perpetrated by officers and men of Special Anti Robbery Squad Unit (SARS), with Anambra State having the worst record.

Country Head, Avocats Sans Frontières, Angela Uwandu, made the allegation at a training workshop for judicial actors, CSOs, Security formations and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) with the theme: ‘Promoting the United Nations Convention Against Torture in Nigeria’.

She said the organisation was not in any way promoting or supporting criminals but its goal was for the due process stipulated by local laws, regional and international laws to be followed while officials carried out their duties.

She said the documentary report of the Amnesty International released recently about the activities of Anambra and Enugu state police SARS was alarming, even when torture was prohibited by law.

In his keynote address on the occasion, a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, said the theme of the workshop was apt, especially at this time in the  nation when Nigerians were confronted daily in the courts and in the media with cases of torture.

Represented by Justice Ani, Umezulike said torture happened nearly everywhere, noting that the major reason it had persisted was the low report rate, as most people often failed to speak up when they saw acts of torture going on.

“We should be our brothers’ keepers and report acts of torture being committed in our neighbourhood, no matter who the perpetrator is,” he said.