According to the Inspector-General of Nigerian Police Force, Mohammed Adamu, he contested a report given by the Amnesty International claiming the Nigerian policemen had deployed excessive force against protesters in #EndSARS protest that lasted for some period.
Mohammed Adamu further argued policemen “acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace” when the protest was on-going as well as other concomitant violence in various part of the country, Nigeria.
According to him, apart from the severely injured policemen, 22 police officers lost their dear lives and a total of 205 police stations and formations were destroyed during the EndSars protest.
The global rights group, Amnesty International (AI), had included in the report given a knock on the Nigerian Police Force for assaulting and brutalising the peaceful protesters and activists demanding police reforms, while they allegedly claimed the NPF used excessive force against them.
AI reported that more than 12 peaceful protesters died at the hand of the Nigerian Force during the ensuing violence.
However, the IG debunked the AI’s report claiming it is biased, untrue, lopsided, misleading, and above all “contrary to all available evidence.”
The rebuttal of NPF was contained in a statement on Friday, 30th of October, 2020, by its spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, titled, ‘EndSARS protests: Police personnel were professional and exercised maximum restraints, IGP tells Amnesty International.’
The rebuttal states, “The IGP noted that 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.
“He reiterated that 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 indicate 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.”
“Two hundred and five police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters.”
Upon all the allegations of the attacks, the Police IG, Adamu, said the policemen had never resorted to the use of alleged unconstitutional force against any peaceful protesters as documented in the report.
“It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland,” the statement observed.
The Nigerian Police Force boldly decried what it referred to as the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by the AI in its recent report.
It added, “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 IG finally stressed the Force commitment to Nigerian Federal Government move to reform the NPF, the IG admonished the AI to try as much as possible to subject its reports to “adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making them public.”