Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has rejected reports by global rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), that police officers shot at peaceful #EndSARS protesters.
It would be recalled that AI on October 21 published a detailed timeline of the military’s movements from the Bonny camp barracks to the Lekki Toll Plaza on its website.
The human rights group accused the FG of attempting to cover up the actual happenings at the Lekki tollgate and also accused the military and police of shooting at peaceful #EndSARS protesters.
The IGP has however described Amnesty’s report that police personnel shot at peaceful protesters as “untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidence”.
Adamu, in a statement was signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, expressed that police officers, instead;
Acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country.
This was contained in a statement on Friday titled, ‘EndSARS Protests: Police Personnel Were Professional And Exercised Maximum Restraints – IGP Tells Amnesty Int’l’.
During the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.
Even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.
Available Reports show that 22 police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests. Many of the injured personnel are in life-threatening conditions at the hospitals.
205 police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters.
Despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report.
Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to Police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland.
The Force decries the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by Amnesty International as seen in the report. One wonders if in the estimation of Amnesty International, police officers are not also human beings equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.
The IGP noted that the Force is committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing reforms of the Nigeria Police Force.
He also enjoined Amnesty International to subject its reports to “adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public”.
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