Enugu Police Brutality: WACOL Rejects Commissioner’s Investigation PanelFeatured, Latest News, News Across Nigeria, News From The State Tuesday, February 4th, 2020
From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Enugu based human Rights organization, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), has rejected an investigation panel set up by the state Commissioner of police, Amad Abduraham, to investigate recent police invasion of its headquarters and brutalization of some of her staff, calling on the Police Service Commission (PSC) to constitute an independent body comprising CSOs, United Nations and/ or other internationally recognised independent observers to carry out the assignment.
African Examiner reports that four heavily armed policemen from the Area Command Enugu, had invaded the corporate headquarters of (WACOL), where they beat one of its female human rights lawyer, Ibangah Goodness, to stupor, making her unconscious, over a rape case involving the son of an influential Enugu-based surveyor which was reported to the organization.
Founding Director of the organization, Professor (Mrs) Joy Ezeilo, had earlier in a statement issued weekend narrated thus: “on Monday the 27th day of January 2020, one Miss (Name withheld) a 21 year old lady made a distress call to Women Aid Collective (WACOL)’s office in Enugu, Enugu State that she was raped that evening by one Mr. Uchenna James Emenike, a 22 year old man at Corridor Layout Maryland Enugu.
However, addressing a world press conference on Monday at (WACOL) office in Enugu, Professor Ezeilo, who described the police action as barbaric said: “We are grateful to Nigerians and the international community, especially the Nigerian Bar Association NBA for their solidarity on this matter and stand against impunity, sexual and gender based violence.
She stated that “we still need an independent investigation panel not overseen by the police, given the cover ups and attempts to distort facts and coerce witnesses by the Area Command and the State CID that released the alleged rapist on Friday without charging him to court.
According to her, “We demand full protection and guarantee of securities of persons involved, especially the victims and survivors of this unfortunate barbaric attacks on WACOL staff and property.
The founding director, who is also a human rights lawyer and activist, added that “the rape case in question needs to be transferred out of Enugu to ensure unbiased investigations into the matter, including for the security of the complainant, witnesses and WACOL team, especially Ms. Goodness Ibangah Esq. our lawyer that has been threatened severally by both the perpetrator’s family and the police at the area command.
Professor Ezeilo, used the media briefing to call on Nigerians to rise up and join hands with the organization in saying no to incessant police brutality and assault on harmless innocent citizens, noting that the recent attack on WACOL was not the first time the organization was suffering such terror in the hands of police operative.
The WACOL boss, equally demanded from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Adamu Abubakar, the immediate suspension and publication of the names of the police officers involved in the heartless attack, adding that they should also be held accountable for their sordid deeds.
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