CLO Petitions Police Over Alleged Brutality By Security Operatives

Commandant General of the NSCDC, Abdullahi Muhammadu
Commandant General of the NSCDC, Abdullahi Muhammadu

The Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, a civil society group, has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and the Inspector-General of Police over alleged brutalization of a resident of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC.

The group alleged that the NSCDC personnel beat the victim to a pulp before taking him to a hospital in the city only to subsequently remove him from the hospital to an unknown destination.

According to the CLO, the incident occurred at about 11.50 am on April 11, 2017, and the group wants the IGP and the NHRC to prevail on the NSCDC to produce the “brutalized” man dead or alive.

In the petition signed by the CLO Chairman, Nengi James-Eriworio, the NSCDC personnel involved in the incident was accused of human rights violation and gross misconduct and abuse of office.

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The petition read: “We wish to draw the attention of petitioned authorities over the misconduct of officers of the Civil Defence Corps, who beat up a man to the point of death and left in a pool of blood while on duty at Opolo on the 11th of April, 2017.

“Efforts by neighbours and lawyers at the scene to help the victim was rebuffed by the accused personnel of the NSCDC.

“When some persons tried to inquire the offence of the half dead victim, they threatened to beat up the people.

“The victim was later taken to unknown destination. The people present at the scene claimed that it was the practice with NSCDC personnel and no consequences had followed their oppressive and outrageous conducts.”

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The group is demanding that the Commandant General of the NSCDC should carry out a proper investigation of the matter and that the officers involved, if found culpable should be punished in accordance with the constitution and other rules and regulation guiding the NSCDC.

James-Eriworio, chairman of the CLO, said that if the man who was brutalized has committed any crime, “he should be charged to Court for trial rather than extra judicial treatment or torture by the officers of the NSCDC.”

When journalists visited Diette Koki Hospital where the victim was taken to, medical Personnel confirmed that he was treated briefly at the facility but was rushed out by the accused personnel to avoid being identified.

Head of Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital, Obhuo Ranami said: “On the April, 11, 2017 at about 12:34 pm, some officers NSCDC brought in an adult male patient, whose name was given by the NSCDC officers as “NSCDC suspect” into the accident and Emergency Unit of our facility.

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“One of the NSCDC officers who claimed to be a medical personel, volunteered the history that the patient had been beaten up by the NSCDC officers after the patient allegedly assaulted one of their armed officers.

“On presentation at the unit, the patient was found to be foaming and bleeding from his mouth, quite restless.

“At 1.40 pm same day, the patient regained full consciousness and got up and appeared agitated. He was at that point taken away.” Ranami said.

The Bayelsa Commandant of NSCDC, Desmond Agu declined comments on the development.