Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group- Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has demanded immediate removal of Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Fidelis Ogarebe, from Enugu State Police Command over allegations of oppression and human rights violations of innocent citizens of the State.
The rights group alleged that ACP Ogarebe has constituted himself as a menace and threat to the peace and civil liberties of the people of Enugu, stemming from the fact that he (Ogarebe) has been serving in Enugu state police command since 1996 when he was commissioned into the Nigeria police force till date without being posted to any other state or geo-political zone in line with the regular practices in the force.
HURIWA argued that “the over-stay of the ACP in Enugu state has led to the manifestation of a number of disturbing issues such as dispositions that inhibit People’s access to justice, unlawful exercise of authority and tacit support for oppression, putting the security of lives and property in the state at risk.”
The group claimed it was acting on a petition, it received from some concerned citizens of Enugu, which bordered on excesses of the police force in Enugu under the watch of ACP Fidelis Ogarebe.
The text of the petition reads in parts, “It is the observation of our forum that the ACP has unprofessionally attached himself to some royal personalities within the state who are given to the oppression of their subjects and less privileged members of their communities for the goal of underserved and coerced submission.
“As a result, communal and individual lands are converted, disposed off allegedly and the proceeds therefore allegedly diverted and allegedly shared amongst themselves for their selfish and personal gains.
“To our chagrin, we have observed that the citizens of the state find it difficult to get justice whenever they report cases at the command, as the CIID section would do everything possible to confer the “Igwes” with automatic ownership over whatever disputed lands.”
HURIWA lamented what it called the toothlessness, moribund and near-dead situation of the Police Service Commission, PSC, which is the ombudsman that ought to check the excess of the police.
The group chided the commission for being busy engaging in a war of attrition with the Inspector General of Police, IGP, over who has the right to recruit constables, adding that whilst they are in court struggling for supremacy, individual cases of indiscipline amongst NPF operatives and officers are seemingly unattended to or swept under the carpets of impunity.
HURIWA said it had forwarded a petition to the Police Service Commission since October 2019 over the Enugu allegation but was surprised that the commission has not bothered to respond or reply to the petition.
It called on all Nigerians, particularly the National Assembly to rescue the Commission from dying a natural death as this might amount to a total breach of security of lives and property of the citizenry.