The Police Service Commission has endorsed the report of the Special Panel of Enquiry set up by the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command on the alleged Police brutality at the Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Enugu, Enugu State.
The Report had recommended that the Police Officers who were directly involved in the incident be made to face full disciplinary measures to serve as deterrent to others. The Report also recommended that various Agencies/NGOs/Institutions should be advised to play according to the rules and avoid exhibiting overbearing attitudes on Police Officers in the discharge of their duties
The Commission had earlier received a petition from WACOL requesting it to bring the Police Officers who had allegedly beaten up and brutalized their workers to book.
The Commission after a review of the report of the Special Panel is satisfied that it followed due process and made implementable recommendations. It however called on Civil Society Groups and other Development partners to join the Commission in its effort to ensure that the Police are “responsive to the citizens’ distress calls and respect their constitutionally guaranteed rights. “
The Commission also advised that sensationalism in reporting alleged misconduct against the Police should be avoided rather the Civil Society groups “are urged to place unreserved confidence in the resolve and determination of the Commission to hold the Police to account”.
The Commission has recently issued a Policy which it is currently implementing to hold individual Police Officers personally accountable for excessive use of force and abuse of office.
The due enforcement of this Policy the Commission stated will enhance sanity in police operations, ensure transparency and accountability.
“while the Commission does not lose sight of the fact that some bad eggs in the Police have committed erosion of fundamental rights of citizens over time, it is the view of the Commission that the Nigeria Police Force must be given the benefit of the doubt that they have a workable internal disciplinary mechanism which, if well deployed, can effectively put erring Members in check”
The outcome of the Special Panel Report, it noted has demonstrated the workability of this internal disciplinary mechanism.
The Commission believes that its constitutional mandate in matters of police discipline imposes on it the responsibility to ensure that the recommendations of the Panel are duly implemented.