Unlawful Detention: Human Rights Commission Investigates Erring FSARS Officers

nhrc letterNational Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has begun investigation of some erring Police officers attached to Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Magbon in Ogun State over alleged threat to life, unlawful arrest and abuse of office.

This is according to the Commission’s letter with number C/2019/CPR/2256-2258/HQ, dated 7th of May, 2019 and signed by an officer of the Commission, Faith Okeosisi, who is in charged of Civil and Political Rights on behalf of its Executive Secretary.

The Letter titled, Re: Alleged threat to life,unlawful arrest and abuse of office against some police officers of Magbon FSARS, Abeokuta,Ogun state and forwarded to the Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman, who received it on behalf of Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ).

The letter read in part; “The Commission is in receipt of your Complaint dated 25th March, 2019 on the above subject matter and the complaint has been registered as : C/2019/CPR/2255-2258/HQ and it is receiving attention.Progress in our treatment of the complaint will be communicated to you in due course”.

The Commission letter was necessitated by the complaint over the plight of police brutality of one Mr. Mutiu Adekunle, for detaining him illegally for five days at their office located at Magbon in Ogun

Speaking on the issue on Tuesday, Comrade Sulaiman disclosed that Adekunle’s ordeal began on Tuesday, 23rd of August, 2016 when the operatives stormed his office located at 5 Kodesoh Street, Ikeja, Lagos demanding to see a colleague named Kamarudeen Hamzat (popularly known as Alfa) who was not around when the police officers came.

CHRSJ boss said that though many of the officers of the FSARS, Magbon have never acted professionally in their operations, he lamented that many of them (the officers) have not been bearing their real names, rather they are known by their aliases by residents of the various communities.

He listed the errant police officers as bearing the following names; Swagger, Raufu, Bullet and Teejay whom he stated are currently undergoing investigation at the Kidnapping Department within the Zone 2 Command of the force located at Onikan, Lagos.

“We are happy that the trial of these officers is being carried out in response to a petition filed by the victim dated 19th September 2016 and it’s being handled by an one officer, Abraham Otitoloju (07034324783 or 08082033286),” he said.

The activist revealed that the intervention of the police authorities led to the recovery of some of the items stolen from Adekunle and others but that two of the errant officers have refused to return the items in their possession since 2016 till date.

He however frowned at the way the matter was being handled at the Zonal Command of the Police, saying that they would push the group to approach the law court for recovery of the items and also seek for damages on fundamental human rights of the victim.

Some of the items carted away from those who were illegally arrested and detained included android phones, iPads, laptops and other instruments being used to repair handsets and other electronic products.

Meanwhile, Sulaiman who doubles as National Coordinator, Coalition of Civil and Human Rights Organizations (COCHRO), challenged Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, who he alleged defends the illegality of the men of the force in the state by allegedly blackmailing anybody who was trying to expose the atrocities of the Police officers attached to Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).

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