Saturday, July 11, 2020 8:43 pm
Police worried by petitions from activists and groups on cases of illegal arrests, detentions and missing persons linked to the vigilance groups
Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Rivers Police Command has threatened to bring the full weight of the law on the Chairman of Ikwerre local government Chairman, Samuel Nwanosike, if various petitions by members of the civil society over infractions and abuses of human rights by the vigilance groups.
The Command said there are series of reports and petitions to the Police Commissioner in Rivers State from Human rights organisation on various infractions and abuses by a local vigilante group popularly called Elele OSPAC in Ikwerre local Government area.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, therefore called on the Ikwerre local government areas council boss, Nwanosike to check the rising cases of human rights abuses arising from complaints by members of the community on the operations of Ospac Vigilante group.
Omoni said the constant report of missing people from the community as result of illegal arrests and detention by OSPAC is becoming worrisome.
The latest is the 26 years old mother of five, whose husband, a commercial Motorcycle rider who whisked away on the 18th of April 2020 and has not been found till date, approximately four months ago.
He clarified that although the Command is full implementation of Community Policing because they are closest to the people, ‘’community policing or local vigilante or whatever name they bear, knows the bad boys in each area, but that the terms of engagement is to apprehend ‘bad boys/girls’ and hand over to Police to prosecute and not to take laws into their hand by arresting, judging matters and collecting bail or ransoms”
The Police , image maker said the primary responsibility of every Local Government Chairman is to protect Lives and properties and live in harmonious relationship with the people from grass root, and not to be a thorn in their flesh.
‘’We urge Samuel Nwanosike to check this rising menace of reports of missing persons and human rights abuses by the local Vigilante he set up with a view to ending the ugly trend and take responsibility for their actions”.
Recall that Mrs. Confidence Chukwudi, mother of five children had raised alarm over her inability to trace the whereabouts of her husband four months after the Chief Security Officer of the Council, Mr Samuel Oboni, led some policemen allegedly serving in the Special Anti-robbery squad, SARs to arrest him at their family house in Igwuruta.
She claimed that police officers and the CSO physically assaulted her husband before taking him away and she has not been able to trace him despite visiting all the police stations in the area since them.
But while the Police in Rivers have said they are not aware of the operation, the Council is yet to react to the report as at the time of fling in this story.