by Fidelis Soriwei
The Amnesty International has called on the Nigeria Police to halt an ongoing investigation into statements credited to the chairman of the Governing Board of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Chidi Odinkalu.
The frontline international human rights organisation said that the police had summoned Odinkalu to appear before the Criminal Investigations Department on Friday for interrogation for making remarks presumed to be inimical to the image of the force.
AI urged the police to stop every act of intimidation against the NHRC.
The NHRC boss reportedly said on March 5, 2012 that the police were involved in acts of torture and extra judicial murders of over 2,500 Nigerians, following a public statement by the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, which allegedly admitted the same offences in February.
A statement from one Josefina Salomon said the Africa Director of AI, Mr. Erwin Van der Borght, had challenged the police to investigate the allegations of torture and extra-judicial killings made against them instead of harassing the NHRC.
Borght, who condemned the action of the police, said it could prevent the commission from carrying out its statutory responsibilities in consonance with the nation’s international human rights obligations.
He was quoted as having said, “The police ought to be spending their time and energy investigating allegations of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture committed by their officers, rather than harassing the National Human Rights Commission.”
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