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Date Published: 06/30/10


44, Alhaja Kofoworola Crescent,

Obafemi Awolowo Way,

Ikeja, Lagos.

Website: http://www.noprin.org

Email: noprin@noprin.org;


Mobile: 0806497453

June 18, 2010


  1. NETWORK ON NPOLICE REFORM IN NIGERIA (NOPRIN) in collaboration with NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMISSION (NHRC) NATIONAL COMMITTEEE ON TORTURE organized a two-day PUBLIC TRIBUNAL ON POLICE ABUSE IN NIGERIA in Abuja on June 10 and 11, 2010 for the North Central zone. The Public Tribunal was aimed at providing an opportunity and a platform for numerous survivors and relatives of victims of police abuses, particularly extrajudicial killings; torture, other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; rape and sexual abuse to testify about their horrific and sad experiences with the police and seek redress. A total of 14 persons testified.
  1. The first session of day one was the opening ceremony, and was chaired by the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maina Waziri. The Chairman of NOPRIN Mr. Andy Nkemneme and Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Mr. Rowland Ewubare gave welcome addresses. The Minister of Police Affairs gave an address, followed by goodwill messages from the Chairman, National Committee on Torture Dr. S.S. Ameh (SAN) and the representative of Mac Arthur Foundation, Mr. Godwin Odo. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, represented, gave a Keynote Address and declared the public hearing open.
  1. The second session of day one and the whole of day two featured public hearings. A panel of four eminent Nigerians heard testimonies from 14 victims and family representatives. The Panelists included:
      1. Dr. S.S Ameh (SAN), Chairman, National Committee on Torture
      1. Mrs. Dupe Atoki, Honourable Commissioner and Nigeria’s Representative at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights
      2. Mr. Kayode Senbanjo, Director and Head, Legal and Protection Department, National Human Rights Commission, Abuja
      3. Dr. Joel Okei-Odumakin, President, Campaign for democracy.
  1. The panelists listened to the testimonies and made recommendations aimed at ensuring that the perpetrators are appropriately brought to account and the victims or their relatives secure redress. The 14 testifiers were made up of thirteen men and one woman.
  1. The testimonies bordered mainly on police extrajudicial killings, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Testifiers gave horrifying instances when they or their family members were physically and psychologically tortured, or subjected to cruel and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by the police, or how their relatives were killed in extrajudicial circumstances.
  1. The O/C Legal, Force Headquarters (Bala Hassan) and another senior Police Officer from the Force Headquarters represented the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) at the tribunal. The IGP’s representatives responded that the Police have statutory duties to maintain law and order, and that the circumstances within which they are usually called upon to intervene are more or less crises situations and their response is dictated by such situations. They were however, happy with the opportunity given to the public to air their grievances.
  1. The large audience present made very useful contributions and emphasized that the police are very culpable. They also offered very useful suggestions on how the police can go about their duties lawfully and legitimately.

At the end of the hearing, it was agreed that:

  • The Public Tribunal  has been  most useful and  should be done on a regular basis;
  • That the proceedings should be made available to the highest authorities, namely the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Hon. Minister of Police Affairs, the Chairman Police Service Commission, and the Inspector General of Police for further action.
  • That the courts be strengthened by way of obedience to court orders
  • That the Chairman of the Panel (who is also the Chairman of the Federal Government’s Committee on Torture) should follow up on the recommendations of the Panel with all the appropriate government agencies.

A summary of the cases heard and the Tribunal’s recommendations on them are summarized below.

  1. Ponfa I. Nansa from Plateau State testified that his brother was arrested and paraded in the market square as a suspected armed robber on 20/12/2009; up till the date of the tribunal, he was still detained in police custody and not arraigned in court. Tribunal noted that the CP Legal, Force Headquarters immediately put up a call to CP Plateau state and this resulted in immediate release of the suspect;  Tribunal noted that the suspect had spent six months in detention without trial and that the police should apologize and compensate him.
  1. Garki Model Market Association, represented by Mr. Egonu Chika Emmanue


      Tribunal established a prima facie case of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against the Nigeria Police Force, Garki Police Division; Tribunal also noted that there is a report of disobedience of court orders by the Abuja Market Management Ltd., aided and abetted by the Police; Tribunal also noted partisan involvement of members of the NPF in the operations of the market, to the detriment of the interests of the testifiers, whereas the police should have been impartial arbiters.


Tribunal recommended that IGP should institute comprehensive investigation into the allegations against members of the NPF especially, the alleged partisan involvement of the DPO Garki, Mr. Anthony Olofu who has been severally accused of conniving with one Alhaji Farouk Abubakar Usman. That the police should be seen to encourage law and order by ensuring that court orders are respected and obeyed; that indiscriminate arrests and frivolous prosecution should stop forthwith while all parties to the dispute in that market should resort to the law in the settlement of their differences.

  1. Mrs. Felicia Ibezim from Abia State testified about the extrajudicial killings of her brother, Chibueze Ibezim John (trader) and three others namely,
    1. Nlewadim Azunna (motor mechanic)
    2. Innocent Njama (panel beater, and
    3. Constable Eki (a Mobile Police Officer).

    That her brother- an only son and the three others were murdered in cold blood on 19/10/09 after they were arrested at a police checkpoint on the Umuahia-Aba Road and falsely accused of armed robbery; that eleven police officers have been arrested but yet to be prosecuted; the following police officers were mentioned:

    1. CP Johnson Jonathan
    2. IPO (Abuja) Elijah Sunday
    3. ASP Ogbonna (Zone 9, Umuahia)
    4. Squadron Cdr Aliyu- (MOPOL 55)


Tribunal recommended that the IGP should investigate thoroughly with a view to bringing all the culprits to book; that the police should publicly apologise to the families and adequately compensate them.

  1. Akintayo Mutiu Kehinde testified on how he was tortured at SARS at the Abattoir, Abuja. He mentioned one ASP Ango who was said to have beaten and injured him with iron rod; he said he has a medical report of his ill-treatment by the police.

Panel recommended that the IGP should investigate especially ASP Ango’s role; publicly apologise, and adequately compensate the victim.

  1. Sunday Kehinde

    Panel established that he was first arrested and detained by EFCC, later detained at the FCT Police, and later transferred to SARS, Abattoir, Abuja where he was tortured, badly brutalized, and ended up with a deformed leg. Victim named some police officers as responsible for the torture: Yemi, Oba; Police carted away his property from his house without any warrant.

    Panel recommended that the IGP should investigate with a view to establishing the culpability of the named officers who should be made to face the law; Police should publicly apologise to the victim and adequately compensate him for the cruel and inhuman treatment meted against him. Panel recommends that SARS in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria have gained embarrassing notoriety tainting the image of the Nigerian Police locally and internationally, and should either be scrapped or comprehensively reformed to conform to modern standards of policing or human rights- compliant policing.

  1. Michael Peter Dawan testified for Christian Peter Dawan who was tortured to death by the police in Plateau State. Victim was arrested on 7/11/08, his house searched and he was taken away in a red car (AE 931 NBD Plateau) by police; not seen again alive; died of torture and brutalization in police custody .

    Panel recommended that the IGP should investigate thoroughly and bring the perpetrators to book; Police should render public apology and adequately compensate the victim’s family.

  1. Onome Demi Ejeji

    Panel established cruel and inhuman treatment after indiscriminate arrest and detention by the Police in Mabushi, Abuja; Victim named two Police Officers: Harry and Sergeant Balogun who can be of immense assistance in the investigations

    Panel recommended that the IGP should investigate with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book; police should tender apologies for the unprovoked maltreatment

  1. Ezza-Ezillo Communal Crisis: Ezza people represented by Mr. Solomon Nwankwo.

    Panel identified the following issues: The communal crisis has become intractable; the Ezza community has lost confidence in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as they allege indiscriminate arrests of their people, to the pleasure of the Ezillo people.

    Panel Recommends that the issues involved should be painstakingly investigated by the police and the Ebonyi State government; that the confidence of the people of Ezza should be regained by the police as no peace can be achieved without all the parties put into confidence; peace building strategies should be adopted by the Ebonyi State Government. Indiscriminate arrests should stop forthwith and all those unlawfully detained should be released without further delay.

  1. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha from Imo State testified for himself.

    Panel identified the following issues: That Mr. Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha has a running battle with the Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim,  over allegations of fraud persistently leveled against the Governor by Mr. Iwuoha; that Iwuoha alleged cruel and inhuman treatment by the Governor on 19/01/10: he was rendered nude in the governor’s office and beaten mercilessly after arrest by Police and detained in the governor’s office; that the Commissioner of Police, Imo allegedly witnessed the cruel and inhuman treatment, together with the State SSS Director.

    Panel recommends that the IGP should investigate comprehensively, especially when officials of the Federal government security agencies are said to be involved, particularly, the CSO to the governor, the CP and the State Director of the SSS; that culpability for torture is not only limited to the actual perpetrators but those who acquiesce to it; that whoever is found culpable should be made to face the law.

  1. Alhaji Baba Fugu

    Tribunal identified the following issues: the extrajudicial killing of testifier’s father in police detention in Maiduguri on 31/7/09 in the aftermath of the Boko Haram crisis; corpse still with the police

    Tribunal recommends: that the IGP should investigate comprehensively; notes that the allegation of extrajudicial killings during and after the Boko Haram crisis  are still very rife; corpse of the deceased should be released to the family; police should publicly apologise to the family, adequately compensate them; ;Police and Borno State government should obey court judgment awarding one hundred million naira damages; Honourable Attorney General should prevail on the Police and Borno State government to obey this judgment.

  1. Adal Otu

    Tribunal identified that the testifier is a taxi driver in Jos Plateau State; that on Sunday 30/5/2010 he was accosted by some military men around General Useni’s house in Jos, who brutalised and tortured him.

    Tribunal recommends that matters should be taken up with the CP Plateau by the National Human Rights Commission, Jos; matter should also be reported to the Chief of Army staff and the Brigade Commander in Jos, with full details of the date and time.

  1. John Manbieng

    Tribunal identified: the extrajudicial killing of 26 years old Emmanuel Pam on 2/7/2008; Victim’s mother a widow, who works for the Federal Road Safety Commission Jos; Victim’s corpse dumped by police at University of Jos Teaching Hospital; police refused to release the corpse despite repeated demands by family, but rather preferred to give it to ‘mass burial’ alongside unknown corpses; one Police Officer- Sergeant Paul was implicated but his orderly room trial was badly handled.

    Panel recommends that IGP should comprehensively investigate; police should apologise to and adequately compensate the family; Police should exhume and release corpse to the family.

  1. Moses Der Aku 25 years victim of torture, present but represented by brother, Pastor Triumph Aku

    Panel identified that the physical and psychological torture of the victim by the police in Makurdi has made him to lose touch with reality; he is now a shadow of himself; he can neither now articulate or reason properly, even hardly eats. IPO identified as Gabriel Toka.

    Panel recommends that IGP should investigate comprehensively; everyone involved should be brought to book; Police should apologise to the victim and family, and compensate and rehabilitate the victim.

For inquiries, please contact

Okechukwu Nwanguma

Program Coordinator, NOPRIN



The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) is a network of 46 civil society organizations spread across Nigeria, and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights. It was established in 2000 to provide opportunity for civil society involvement in police reform, and the promotion of safety, security and justice in Nigeria. NOPRIN carries out its mandate through monitoring, field research and investigation, documentation, publication, campaign and advocacy. NOPRIN partners with national, international, governmental and intergovernmental organizations and institutions in implementing its programs aimed at transforming law enforcement institutions and practices in Nigeria.

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