The Commissioner of Police in Abia, Ene Okon, has decried the rate of extra-judicial killings and lawlessness among the police operatives, saying that the development has brought shame to the Police Force.
Okon said this in Aba on Friday while addressing officers and men of Eziama Divisional Police Station in the Aba Area Command.
He therefore warned the police operatives to be cautious with the handling of their fire arms in order not to become victims of its miss use.
He said: “We are suffering from self-inflicted injury. We have deflected our ego.
“We have become subject of ridicule because this gun they bought for us to protect people, we’ve turned to use it for killing innocent people.
“In one or two weeks in Lagos, police killed about four innocent persons and some in a bizarre manner.”
The police boss recounted how some unscrupulous police operatives abused their power, citing the recent killing of a girl who was allegedly returning from a club.
He wondered when going to club became a crime in Nigeria and warned operatives against indiscriminate arrest and attack on innocent citizens.
He said: “The gun you should use for kidnappers and armed robbers, you now turn to use to kill innocent persons.
“This is happening often. By doing this, you are carving a bad image for the police and yet we have a law guiding the use of fire arms.”
He reminded them that the first day they joined the police, they were told about Force Order 237, which guides policemen on the use of fire arms.
He frowned at the attitude of some policemen, who usually fired shots into the air during an arrest, adding that there was no need for such wastes.
Okon said: “Even when you are on the range, you’ll always be told to aim your fire on the knee.
“But your own knee has disappeared as all you now see is the heart and head.
“You neglect the existence of Force Order 237 and so I think you must be taught again, if you still don’t understand it.
“I don’t want to hear accidental discharge here in Abia. Extra-judicial killings must be avoided because it dents police image.”
He admonished officers and men of the command to be civil with members of the public and treat them with courtesy so that they would get the same respect from the public in return.
He further said that Nigerians had become more enlightened than before.
According to him, most people now know their constitutional rights, hence the need for the police to work in line with constitutional provisions.
He warned them to stop harassing, molesting, abusing and assaulting Nigerians over flimsy reasons.
He charged them to apply the instructions they learnt from the police college in order to avoid the dehumanisation of citizens and degradation of the police.
Okon also urged them to adopt a better and more mature means of extracting information from suspects than beating and dehumanising them.
He encouraged them to study and make themselves conversant with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the Police Act and other laws in order to discharge their duties creditably.