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#EndSARS: Cease With Violent Crackdown On Peaceful Nigerian Youth Protesters —Joe Biden Warns Buhari

Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden

United Sates democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden has urged President Mohammadu Buhari to desist from using Military officials on peaceful protesters.

Biden made the call in a statement released via its Presidential campaign site on Wednesday, acknowledging that the agitation by the Nigerian youths was justified.

He also advised the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with its citizens and address long-standing grievances.

The statement

“I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths.

“My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one in the violence.

“The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy.

Joe Biden

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Ndubuisi Udo: Disband SARS And Reform The Police— by Kolawole Simon |The Republican News

Ndubuisi “Dele” Udo killed by Nigeria police officer in 1981

By Simon Kolawole

If you don’t know Ndubuisi (“Dele”) Udo, it is not your fault. The Nigerian police did not allow him to be great. As a teenage athlete in the 1970s, Udo was a collegiate champion at the University of Missouri in the United States. He was a three-time member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-American team. He was a holder of numerous Missouri, Big Eight and NCAA records. Then he came to Nigeria in July 1981 in preparation for the 3rd IAAF World Cup scheduled for September 1981 in Rome, Italy. The quarter-miler would never return to the US again, neither would he fulfil his dreams and aspirations of conquering the world in athletics.

One evening, he left camp with some of his colleagues to buy suya at Ojuelegba, Lagos state. They were stopped at a police checkpoint. You know how it goes with the Nigerian police. One thing or the other, they got into an argument. Then a policeman pulled out his gun and shot Udo. He was dead in nanoseconds. As young as I was then, I could not resist the tears when I watched his funeral on TV. He was just 24. He had been part of the Nigerian team to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Although he did not win any medals (Nigeria came back empty-handed), his future looked bright. He was just warming up. He made it to the semi-finals of 400 meters and was part of the 4x400m team.

The prodigious product of National High School, Aba, had been married to an American lady for just three weeks when the Nigerian police murdered him. Udo’s wife was pregnant with their daughter, who would never see her father. They killed him. Police killed him. They murdered his hopes and dreams with a solitary, sickening bullet — over nothing. What happened next? You know the drill: the killer policeman was detained; the inspector-general of police, Mr Sunday Adewusi, who was new on the job then, promised a thorough investigation; President Shehu Shagari vowed that justice would be done; and a street was named after Udo in Ikenegbu Layout, Owerri, Imo state. The end.

Adewusi, now late, would go on to unleash the mobile police unit (MOPOL) on Nigerians in the 1983 general election. The notoriety of the anti-riot unit earned them the nickname: “Kill and Go.” And here, 39 years after the gruesome murder of Dele Udo, we are still reeling under police brutality. Innocent souls are still being battered, this time by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which has displaced MOPOL on the cruelty league table. Murderous police officers are still being arrested and detained. The inspector-general is still promising to investigate the “remote and immediate” causes. The president is still promising justice and action. Does anything really change in Nigeria?

The latest public outrage over the impunity of SARS — triggered by the reported shooting of a young Nigerian in Ughelli, Delta state — offers President Muhammadu Buhari an opportunity of a lifetime to write his name in gold by carrying out a comprehensive reform of the police. It is in our best interest. This is not the time to be taking photographs with the IGP and issuing press statements to the effect that he has been directed to do this and that. The police hierarchy are part and parcel of the problem. They have always resisted attempts to make a fundamental change. They mouth one thing and do another. You and I know the reason. Why change a system that feathers your nest?

Before SARS, police had always engaged in vicious extrajudicial killings. There is nothing we are saying about SARS today that we have not said about other police units in the past, except that today we are in the internet age and officers have seized the opportunity to open new shops dedicated to yahoo boys and girls. Task forces set up by various state governments to enforce traffic rules and environmental laws are notorious for human rights abuses. Police officers will first slap a bus driver before arresting him for stopping at an illegal bus stop. Police officers rent guns to armed robbers or even partake in robbery operations themselves. SARS is just a tip of the iceberg.

Why are police officers generally so brutal? Why are they so arbitrary? Why do they drive against traffic? Why do they drink and gamble? Why do they rape? Why do they make themselves available to be hired to settle personal scores in purely civil matters? Why do they openly extort money from motorists? Why do they steal exhibits? Why do they lack respect for human dignity? These questions go beyond SARS. They hit at the heart of everything that is wrong with our police force. Disbanding SARS can only be a starting point. But if the factory that produces these cold-blooded police officers remains open and is not overhauled, we would only be scratching the surface.

Meanwhile, the truth is that police officers are also not completely useless. They are out there risking their lives to protect us. They are awake while we are sleeping and snoring. They are standing by the roadside while we are in our air-conditioned offices. They are always the first target when armed robbers want to strike. They are human beings like us. They are fathers and mothers. They are uncles and aunties. Ironically, these same police officers win medals when they are on duty outside the country, especially on UN and AU missions. How do we explain that? Is there something about the Nigerian water that destroys their humanity? Is it our culture of impunity?

In 2004, I did a mini-study on the police, with great help from my friend and foot soldier, Ibrahim Sule (who sadly passed away last year). I wanted to understand the problems and challenges. I focused the research on the recruitment process and the conditions of service. I then wrote a series of articles based on my findings. Here is a quick summary. The recruitment was terribly flawed. Because of our poor record keeping, ex-convicts, including armed robbers, and unfit persons were being recruited into the force. The conditions of training could only produce beasts. The hostels were inhabitable, the food was appalling and even their allowances were not being paid.

Firearms training was grossly inadequate. Many recruits finished training without being properly taught arms handling. Recruits had to bribe to get official uniforms. What’s more, at every level and stage in the recruitment process, there was fraud. Police belts and shoes were being hawked openly. For those already inside the force, the tales were sadder. They saw their colleagues die on duty and their widows battle and struggle for years to collect the entitlements. One senior officer once lamented to me: “Is this what will happen to my family if I die serving this country?” Police officers were being given patrol vans without fuel. They had to fuel the vehicles from their own pockets.

“You think we don’t know they extort motorists?” a very, very senior police officer told me. “We just look the other way because we don’t give them money for fuel.” Guess what happened to the fuel budget. Officers were being transferred without plans for accommodation and without getting their allowances. I was at the Pen Cinema police station, Agege, Lagos, one morning and saw policemen sleeping inside a van. One officer told me: “They were transferred from Enugu last month. There was no plan for accommodation, so they sleep inside patrol van, wake up very early in the morning to have their bath, and they have to go on patrol without funds being provided for fuel.”

I can’t remember what officers were being paid as hazard allowance then but it was a pitiable pittance, while politicians were feasting on billions of naira. Have you ever gone to report a case at a police station and you are asked to “mobilise” officers to for investigation? This is the back story: there are hardly any funds made available for investigation. An officer told me some years ago that he had to be transporting suspects to court from his own pocket. Many suspects rot in police cells for this reason. A police officer confided in me that he resorted to drinking dry gin and smoking marijuana anytime he was on night duty to gain “Dutch courage”. He often felt vulnerable.

Fellow Nigerians, you can now imagine what would happen when you unleash these bitter, desperate, frustrated, ill-trained, cheated, demoralised, disoriented and dehumanised human beings on the society — and then give them guns, to boot. You ask them to police people who look successful, respected and well-nourished, people who treat them with disdain and suspicion. For clarity, I am not making any excuses for their impunity. Poor training and operational conditions do not excuse the insanity. But my point is: in the end, we are getting the kind of police that we breed. The foundation is faulty. A police officer will always be a police officer, no matter the unit or station.

That is why the problem is deeper and wider than SARS: the mould that produces police officers needs to be reshaped. Since we cannot do away with them, we have to make them more effective and recondition them to see their job as that of protecting the people, not extorting, oppressing or killing them. There is no proper consequence management and accountability process in place. When you give people power over others, give them guns, and empower them to literally make the difference between life and death, you should realise that there will be abuse and impunity and make an arrangement to address it. It is clear that no such strong mechanism currently exists.

If I were to advise President Buhari, though, the first thing is for him to seize the moment by disbanding SARS immediately. That would be the starting up. That would send a strong signal that this is not the usual presidential lip service. Also, he should order a thorough investigation of their atrocities, perhaps a truth commission that will lead to the prosecution of erring officers and commanders. Above all, he has to overhaul the police force. We need to look intensely into the recruitment process, the orientation, the welfare, the budgeting, the accountability and the entire operations. There is something that makes them behave the way they do. Let’s get to the root!

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Nigeria’s Democracy Is Under Threat, PDP Tells Trump |The Republican News

By Onyekachi Eze, ABUJA

donaldtrump3

Less than 24 hours to President Muhammadu Buhari’s scheduled ‎meeting with the United States of America (USA) president, Donald Trump, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised anti-democratic issues and human rights abuse against the Nigerian leader.

The party specifically drew President Trump’s attention to the recent report of the US Department of State on constitutional and human rights violation in Nigeria under President Buhari.

‎”We, therefore, urge President Donald Trump to stand up for democracy and take President Buhari to task on constitutional and human rights violations in Nigeria under his watch,” PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said at a press conference yesterday.

Also, the party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, in a statement by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi said‎ Nigeria is now a police state under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

‎Ologbondiyan noted at the press conference that President Buhari’s administration has wrecked the nation’s democratic order, eroded constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens while foisting a siege mentality on the people.

“Nigeria is facing a perilous time; our constitution has been technically suspended; we have now become a police state; governance has reverted to the nightmares of the 1984 era when draconian leaders held sway and forcefully held our people under the grips of military Decree 2.

“Currently, there is a total collapse of respect for constitutionally guaranteed personal freedom; there is no regard for the natural course of justice, life in Nigeria is gradually returning to the state of nature and there is fear everywhere.

“Today, Nigerians are being hounded, arrested and directly detained on ‘order from above’, without warrant; citizens are locked up in dehumanizing detention centres without access to medical care and legal assistance, just for holding political opinions that run contrary to the views of those in power at the centre.

“There are preponderance instances of citizens’ detention in special police and military facilities for weeks, months and in some cases, many years without trial. Nigerians are daily falling victims of extreme torture, extra-judicial and arbitrary killings and mass burial by unrestrained agents of state security forces,” he stated.

He added that the Amnesty International (AI) 2017/2018 Human Rights report‎ confirmed cases of extreme human right violations under the Buhari administration.

These, he cited to include extra-judicial execution, the forceful crackdown on peaceful demonstrators as witnessed in the South East between September 2017 and January 2018 as well as torture and killings in custody, adding that many of those who were arrested were still in detention without trial.

Ologbondoiyan noted that the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ group that freely protested unmolested in 2014 and 2015 were today hounded and manhandled wherever and whenever they dare to come out on a peaceful protest.

“The recent US government’s report on human rights violation in Nigeria also confirmed cases of harassments, persecution of opposition, arrests, detention and extra-judicial killings under President Buhari’s administration.

“Indeed, the height of human rights abuse being witnessed in our country today is the worst in our national contemporary history.

“As we speak, government’s inaction and aloofness have led to escalation of killings in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kogi, Kaduna, Borno, Yobe, Nasarawa, Edo, Zamfara, Ekiti, Enugu, by insurgents and marauders, who are having a field day as the presidency has abandoned governance for 2019 re-election bid.

“Painfully, our democratic institutions, particularly the legislature, judiciary and even the media are being decapitated by dictatorial forces who are encouraged by the agents of the state at the centre.

“Let the truth be told! Nigeria is bleeding under President Buhari and the world must come to the rescue.

“We also pray that President Buhari will not use the occasion of his visit to President Trump to further de-market our nation as he has always done whenever he is outside the country on official assignment,” Ologbondoiyan added.

Secondus in the statement noted ‎that the on-going clampdown on persons not in agreement with the views of government either in the opposition party òr within their APC fold is a clear evidence of the desperation of Buhari’s to suppress free speech and association which are indispensable requirements for democracy to flourish.

“Legislators are not safe, judges are living and working in fear; media are being harassed, security agencies have all become tools of oppression for the government. Dictatorial signs are all over the place threatening our democracy.

“Their intention is clear: to intimidate and frighten people from saying the truth. But they will never succeed because the huge sacrifice made to bring this democracy to this level by Nigerians is not for it to be destroyed cheaply.

“If governance in a democracy is associated with the delivery of dividends and after three years you have nothing to show, no amount of aggressive pressure and bullying will save such government in the hands of the voters.

“Democracy provides for a day of reckoning when we leaders must return to the people to renew our mandate, that hour has come and only a government that has nothing to show that resorts to intimidation and harassment of those telling them the truth,” he stated. (New Telegraph)

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#EndSARS: Despite IGP’s Order, Nigerians Insist SARS Must Be Scrapped |RN

Ibrahim-Idris
                                        Police IG Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.

Despite the call by the Inspector General of police, Ibrahim Idris,  for an immediate reorganisation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Nigerians insist that it should be scrapped.

The Hashtag, #EndSARS gained momentum on the social media on Sunday, when Nigerians took to Twitter to protest ill-treatment, abuse and harassment by operatives of the SARS.

Although, the IGP has called for the SARS to be restructured, the #EndSARS continues to trend. Nigerians still demand the scrapping of the SARS.

See some of the tweets:

There’s no need for any re organization,All Nigerians want is to #EndSars

— Truth Empire (@TruthEmpire1) December 4, 2017

And do not allow anyone sabotage your/our efforts. #EndSARShttps://t.co/y9eEy5SE7M

— VeloxTravel✈️ (@weabless) December 4, 2017    (Punch)

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Driver Handcuffed To Police Van Recounts Ordeal |The Republican News

Image result for man handcuffed to police van

                                                          The driver

• AIG detains erring policemen

Alexander Okere, Benin

A 38-year-old commercial bus driver, Kester Edun, who was handcuffed by some policemen to a patrol van and subjected to inhuman treatment for about seven hours in the Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, says he did not commit any offence.

PUNCH Metro had reported on Thursday that Edun was handcuffed to the van after his passenger escaped arrest.

The victim, a father of one from Delta State, had earlier been stopped by the security operatives from the Esigie Police Division.

The policemen were said to have searched him but found nothing incriminating on him.

His passenger, however, fled when the security operatives found something on the ground suspected to be hemp.

A resident of the area, Augustine Ogbonmwan, who reportedly captured the brutality meted out to Edun on his mobile phone, was also detained by the police.

Edun said it dawned on him that the policemen were after him when they refused to go after the fleeing passenger.

He said, “The security operatives cuffed my hand to their van and dragged me on the road to compel me to admit to being an accomplice to the passenger.”

He claimed to have lost some amount of money and his phone in the process.

He said, “I did not have any incriminating thing on the bus. When the passenger was searched, they found an empty pack of cigarettes in his pocket. Later, the boy ran away. I asked them to run after him, but they ignored me.

“They handcuffed me to the vehicle, adding that I must accept that I was the boy’s accomplice.

“I told them that I did not know the boy, but they cuffed and dragged me from First (Junction) to Third Junction. The policemen parked and started hitting me and I did not know what happened afterwards because I fainted.”

It was learnt that Edun was later taken to a private hospital by the policemen, where he was handcuffed to a hospital bed and later detained in a cell at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for allegedly being a cult member, an allegation he denied.

It was, however, gathered that Edun and Ogbonwan were later released on Wednesday.

The bus driver said, “I am not a cult member. I did not do anything. They should also return my mobile phone and money. I remit N5,000 to the owner of the seized bus every day.”

Meanwhile, it was gathered that the erring policemen had been arrested and detained on the order of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed.

Mohammed told our correspondent that while the zonal command had commenced an investigation into the matter,  the detained policemen would  face an orderly room trial.

He, however, did not disclose the identities of the policemen.

The AIG said the action of the cops was unprofessional and a violation of the principle of democratic policing.

He  said, “We wish to state that the victims, one Kester and Austin Ogbonmwan, are in good health and are cooperating in the investigation.”

Also, the Edo State Government has described the incident as “cruel, inhuman and barbaric.”

It added that that it had ordered a judicial probe into the incident.

The state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki, on Thursday, said the law must be implemented decently.

The statement read in part, “This government resolutely believes that while the law must be rigorously enforced, it must be done within the bounds of decency, civility and legality.”             (Punchng.com)

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Four Police Officers Arrested For Handcuffing Bus Driver To Police Van

They were arrested after pictures and video of their brutality against a commercial bus driver went viral.

 

Four policemen attached to the Esigie Police Division have been arrested and detained at the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 5.

The four policemen were on Thursday made to face orderly room trial.

They were arrested after pictures and video of their brutality against a commercial bus driver went viral.

Their victim, Odozi Kester, was handcuffed to a police Hilux van and was dragged on the ground until he fainted.

The AIG, zone 5, Abubakar Adamu, described the conduct of the policemen as unprofessional which he said, does not depicts the ethics and core values of the Nigeria Police Force.

AIG Adamu said the action violated the principle of democratic policing.

He told newsmen that the Zonal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (ZCIID) has commenced full scale investigation into the matter.

AIG Adamu promised that anybody found wanting would be sanctioned after investigation has been concluded.

                                  Nigerian police handcuff bus driver to police van

(The Nation)

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SHOCKING: A Young Man Beaten Into Coma By Two Mobile Police Officers In Lekki, Lagos (Video)

By Ike A. Offor

A yet-unidentified young man in his 20s was beaten into pulp by two mobile police officers in Lekki, Lagos state.

The incident took place at Zenith bank in Lekki, where the young man came to withdraw money from the ATM machines and altercation ensued between him and the two mobile police officers. The two police officers joined hands and beat the man up until he became unconscious.

According to the accounts of the eye witnesses, which painted a very gory picture of what transpired between the young man and the two mobile police officers. The tale is not a very good one indeed.

According to eye witnesses who narrated the story, after he was beaten  and lost consciousness, he was abandoned on the street in the pool of his blood and phlegm gushing out of his mouth and perhaps blocking his lungs.

These eye witnesses pressurised the mobile police officers to take him to the hospital, of which the ignored until after 30 minutes after the victim lost consciousness. As the video showed, after intense pressure from the public, these officers then gave in and took him to the hospital

There was no medical personnel on the scene to administer a simple CPR or to attend to him to help the victim regain consciousness. He was lifeless with phlegm dripping out of his mouth when one of the mobile police officers was struggling to position him on a car seat.

The registration of the car that took him to the hospital is LSS  52915, this could a car of a good Samaritan who  volunteered to help out or the car belonging to the police officers.

At the time of this report, the identity of the victim as well as that of the two mobile police officers remain unknown.

One of the witnesses who shared a Facebook video with The Republican News gave the official numbers of the mobile police officers as Baba Alfa [NPF no. 228620] and Officer E.D .[NPF no. 224780]

The victim is perhaps dead from the look of things at the time he was lowered into the car and driven off to the hospital.

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