Friday, August 19, 2005

THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT

Yesterday we lashed our President for telling "Presidential Lies". But, today, we have to commend him for saying the bitter truth about the violations of human rights by the Nigerian Police.

We are proud of President Olusegun Obasanjo whenever he does the right thing. But, we must call him to order if he does the wrong thing.We are not here to lick any jackboot or kiss the arse of any tyrant. We say the truth even if the truth convicts us.

We want the best for Nigeria and we want the President of Nigeria to do his best for the benefit of Nigeria. No more.No less. Finis.

Obasanjo says Nigeria police

torture, kill suspects...

18 Aug 2005 18:08:27 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Camillus Eboh

ABUJA, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Nigerian police have tortured and illegally killed criminal suspects, President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Thursday, accepting some key findings of a damning report by Human Rights Watch.

Last month's report by the New York-based group found that torture and extra-judicial killings were widespread in the Nigerian police force.

The group asked Western donors funding police reform to make aid a condition of measurable steps to curb abuses.

"Our recent history as a nation witnessed instances of gross violations of some of the most basic fundamental human rights," Obasanjo said in a message to a police seminar in the capital.

"These violations ranged from extra-judicial killings to torture and unlawful detention."

Obasanjo cited the killing in June of six unarmed civilians by police in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Abuja and vowed that the officers accused would face the full weight of the law.

Shortly after the shootings, Obasanjo ordered a public inquiry in an unprecedented attempt to hold police accountable for killing members of the public.

Police initially said the victims were armed robbers who opened fire first, but witnesses told the inquiry the slain civilians were party-goers on their way home who were killed in cold blood.

Six officers are facing trial and could face the death penalty if convicted. The case resumes next month.

"The full weight of the law will be brought to bear on all who are found to have been involved in the perpetration of this most heinous crime," Obasanjo said.

His comments come in the context of wider government attempts to root out corruption and reform the country's institutions.

About 3,100 "suspected armed robbers" were killed in combat with security forces in 2003, according police figures.

Human Rights Watch said it had interviewed men whose genitals were subjected to electric shock and women who had been raped to extract confessions.

The group said other forms of torture in Nigerian police cells wincluded suspension by hands and legs from a ceiling, beating, the spraying of tear gas into eyes and the shooting of suspects in the leg.

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