Police faults Amnesty international report on SARS

Policemen

The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday faulted Amnesty International’s report on the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Amnesty International had alleged in its report that SARS systematically tortured detainees in its custody as a means of extracting confessions and lucrative bribes
The denial of the police was contained in a statement issued by the Force Spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police Don Awunah, in Abuja.
Awunah described the report as misleading and a clear misrepresentation of facts, unverified accounts and absolute distortion of current state of SARS.
“The report is evidently the characteristic mindset and pattern of Amnesty International to deride and castigate public institutions especially in developing countries like Nigeria,” he said.
He said the report shows the researcher’s ignorance of the rules of engagement of SARS and the laws regulating criminal investigations in the country.
Awunah said the researcher deliberately misconstrued the cautionary words, a prerequisite for suspects to sign before voluntary statements is taken from them, as “Death Warrant”.
He noted that the police had put in place functional and pragmatic disciplinary measures against erring officers and men.
The spokesman said the assertion by the organisation that detainees were subjected to horrific torture methods was a fantasy of the researcher.
He said: “The police does not tolerate or condone torture in any form.
“The Inspector-General of Police upon assumption of office conducted an audit of SARS rules of engagement and reorganised it.”
Awunah said the police had been working with critical stakeholders in the criminal justice system to train personnel to conform to international best practices.
Awunah said suspects in police detention facilities had unfettered access to legal practitioners of their choice.
He said the organisation was given unguided access to the detention facilities in Abuja, Akwuzu in Anambra State and Enugu State upon request.
He said: “The Nigeria police, therefore, wish to urge Nigerian and the international community to discountenance and disregard the so-called report.
“The Inspector-General of Police wishes to reassure Nigerians and the international community that the police will continue to discharge its statutory functions.”