Falana Alleges Police Culpability in Mass Killings | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Falana Alleges Police Culpability in Mass Killings

Posted: May 2, 2016 at 4:39 am   /   by   /   comments (0)





Femi Falana (SAN), human rights activist, has alleged that police authorities were culpable in mass killing of Nigerians and other social misdemeanor, especially recent attacks in local communities in the country.

He said such culpability were enough reasons to disband the entire police force and constitute another one.

Falana, who spoke through Ezenwa Nwagwu, chairman, Partner for Electoral Reforms, said the neo-colonial training which was still tenable within the police force was a major hindrance to their effectiveness.

At a lecture delivered on his behalf with the theme ‘The Working Class and Quest for Socio-Economic Revival’, he noted that the sanctity of human lives is usually ignored by the police when they involve in extra-judicial killings, especially criminal suspects.

The lecture was part of the May Day rally which comes up May 1 nationwide.

“To stop the reckless killing of people in Nigeria we have to disband the police force which has contempt for our people because of the neo-colonial content of their training.

“In its place a new police service which will respect and defend the people should be established.

“Just a few days ago, I was compelled to condemn the extra-judicial execution of criminal suspects by the police, the unlawful killing of unarmed civilians, including women and children by the armed forces and deadly attacks on communities by violent militias and other armed bandits.

“Specifically, I referred to the military invasions of Odi in Bayelsa State (1999), Zaki Biam in Benue State (2001) and Gbaramatu in Delta State (2009), the illegal killing of 347 Shiites by the  army and the secret burial of their corpses in a mass grave last December during a civil disturbance in Zaria, Kaduna State.

“There seems to be a routine extra-judicial execution of armed robbery and kidnap suspects by all the police commands under the pretext that they are trying to escape from custody and the regular killing of citizens through accidental discharge of firearms by the police.

“It was my contention that some groups have taken advantage of the growing culture of official impunity to engage in savage killings, abductions and other primitive brutalization of unarmed people. Some of the victims of kidnapping are brutishly killed while the hapless families of others are forced to pay huge ransom to secure their release,” he said.

He said now that the Federal Government’s anti corruption fight was yielding fruits, it behooves the government to channel the recovered funds for welfare programmes that would benefit the citizenry.

Falana said, “To free our society from the tiny grip of looters, the Nigerian people should be mobilise to struggle for popular democracy.

“In order to enforce the socio-economic rights of the Nigerian people recognised by law, the claim of the ruling class that there is no money to fund them should no longer be accepted.

“Over the years, the ruling class has conveniently ignored several judicial pronouncements in favour of social justice.

“That is not unexpected given the fact that the government was run by an army of neo-liberal ideologies which are committed to the defence of market fundamentalism.

“This means that the struggle for the economic empowerment of the masses transcends the legal arena. It is a battle for popular democracy as opposed to liberal democracy.

“It is a battle for the democratic control of the economy to ensure that the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.”