RE- Nigeria: Security forces must be held accountable for killing of at least 45 peaceful Shi’a protesters
· The Force rejects the Amnesty International report and allegation against the Police on use of deadly force against IMN members as untrue, absolute distortion and diversionary.
The attention of the Nigeria Police has been drawn to the Amnesty International Report published on 31st October, 2018, captioned “Nigeria: Security forces must be held accountable for killing of at least 45 peaceful Shi’a protesters”.
2. The Nigeria Police Force after a careful study the entire report and the allegation against the Police on paragraph 3 of the report “We have seen a shocking and unconscionable use of deadly force by soldiers and police against IMN members. Video footage and eyewitness testimonies consistently show that the Nigerian military dispersed peaceful gatherings by firing live ammunition without warning, in clear violation of Nigerian and international law,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria”
3. The Nigeria Police Force wishes to state categorically that the allegation against the Police by the Amnesty International as stated in paragraph 3 quoted above is in its entirety untrue, misleading, a clear misrepresentation and absolute distortion of facts to divert attention from the heinous crimes committed by the El-Zazakky Group, which include unprovoked attack on Police personnel and the setting ablaze of Police vehicle in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on 30th October, 2018 and disturbance of public peace and public safety in and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on the said date.
4. To set the record straight, there was no report of death in any Police Station in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja from the Police intervention and quelling of the disturbance of public peace and public safety, and unrest created by the El-Zazakky group in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on the 30th of October, 2018.
5. The Force despite the height of provocation from the El-Zazakky group and the setting ablaze of a Police patrol vehicle resist the use of maximum force on the group but effected the arrest of Four Hundred (400) members of the group for disturbance of public peace, disruption of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory and setting ablaze of Police patrol vehicle. Some of the members of the El-Zazakky groups were also arrested with Thirty One (31) bottles of petrol bombs, other dangerous weapons and illicit drugs. All those arrested are being prosecuted in accordance with the law.
6. The Force sees the Amnesty International allegation against the Police as deliberate and desperate attempt to cast aspersions on the investigation and ongoing prosecution of the arrested members of the El-Zazakky Group to pervert the end of justice.
7. The Nigeria Police Force will not be deterred from carrying its statutory duties nor condone lawlessness, disturbance of public peace and public safety by any group(s) under any guise that runs contrary to the constitutional provisions and other enabling laws on preservation of law and order and protection of lives and property of all Nigerians.
8. The general public are hereby implored to disregard and discountenance the allegation by Amnesty International that the Police used deadly force against IMN members as untrue, diversionary and distortion of fact.
9. For avoidance of doubt, the Force has continuously in the last two (2) years contained several violent protests by the El-Zazakky group using minimum force within the Federal Capital Territory and in the process, some Police personnel sustained various degree of injuries and some police vehicles damaged while preventing the El-Zazakky group from causing breakdown of law and order in the FCT. Some Police officers were killed in Kaduna and Kano States by the El-Zazakky group within the same period. Aftermath of these violent protests, the Police have always charged the arrested members of the El-Zazakky group to Court. This can be verified by the Amnesty International and the general public.
10. The Force will continue to operate within the ambit of the law and ensure the diligent prosecution of the arrested members of the El-Zazakky group on the 30th October, 2018 for acts and offences prohibited under the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013.
Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER