Danmallam Mohammed, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of the newly created Zone 13 of Nigeria Police Force with headquarters in Awka, Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, has warned personnel under him against intimidation and abuse of rights of the citizens.
Mohammed issued the warning at a media conference after meeting with police commissioners in the three state under the zonal command, consisting of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states.
The commissioners are CP John Abang (Anambra), CP Abdulrahaman Ahmed (Enugu) and CP Philip Maku (Ebonyi).
He promised that the command under his leadership would fight armed robbery and kidnapping to a halt and respect the rights of the people.
Mohammed said “we will make sure that the good people of this country who go about their lawful businesses do so without fear of intimidation.
“What we want to assure the public is that it is our collective resolve and belief in professionalism, law and order and due process.
“As police officers our duty is to maintain law and order and we have decided that we will do this within the ambit of the law.
“We shall protect lives and property, rights of citizens as stipulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Under my watch it is no to illegal arrest and detention, no to torture, no to extrajudicial killings, no to extortion of money from innocent Nigerians.”
The police chief said the command would adopt the community policing strategy initiated by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, and work with other security agencies to effectively secure the zone.
He urged members of the public with useful information to avail them to the police and promised that their identities would be protected and their safety assured.
The new command was created of Nigeria Police Zone 6 Command with headquarters in Calabar, Cross River State, South-South, Nigeria, and Zone 9 with headquarters in Umuahia, Abia State in the Southeast region.
The zone is notorious for human rights abuse by security agents, especially the police, which has a Special Armed Robbery unit in Awkuzu, Anambra State, whose activities have come under scrutiny by the human right community.
The facility, alleged to be responsible for torturing crime suspects was described by the Spokesman of the Police Command in Anambra State, Haruna Mohammed, a Superintendent of Police, as a “Special Unit that is not accessible to just anybody”.
The human rights group, Amnesty International, in June, 2020, released a report on human rights abuse at the Awkuzu facility detailing alleged rights abuses which the Nigeria Police Force has refused to address in spite of requests made to it.
Mohammed, however, told HumAngle that most stories circulating about the facility were created by the social media, saying, “you know that 99 per cent of those stories are not correct.”
Additional Reporting by Chukwudi Ekezie