Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, a pro-democracy and environmental rights advocacy group has condemned in its entirety the reported cases of phones’ and gadgets’ search allegedly being carried out by men of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS against Aba residents.
This, FENRAD says, is no different from the wrong profiling and other illicit activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS unit of the same Force which culminated in a nationwide protest by youths exactly one year ago. That this is happening barely one year after the popular #EndSARS protests shows clearly that the much-talked about reforms in the police sector still have a long way to go. Again, FENRAD condemns this as invasion of privacy and encroachment on people’s rights and freedom. The Foundation recalls that prior to the #EndSARS protests, former Inspector General (IG) of Police had issued an order stopping the police from such illegal activity. Again, this is against all ethics of policing and puts the police force in an unnecessary collision course with the public, FENRAD fears.
FENRAD calls on the state commissioner of police, Mrs. Janet Agbede, the Aba area command and other relevant police authorities to, in the interest of peace, look into this complaint and find a lasting solution to it so the public does not lose its confidence in the Nigeria Police (state command), especially at a time like this when all over the world the protests against/to end all forms of police brutality are being marked.
FENRAD also thanks the Commissioner of Police for the way and manner the state command has had to handle issues of indiscipline and lawlessness among men and officers of the Force, the latest being the alleged rape of a female student of Abia State Polytechnic by an officer who has since been disengaged from service. It calls on the Force to up its game especially as the festive season draws nearer. FENRAD restates its commitment to having a friendly policing framework in Aba and the entire Abia State.
Policing, the Foundation says, must follow all rules of engagement at all times. No citizen should be made to feel less, suffer personal deprivation, intimidated or their privacy encroached upon in the name of policing.