Avocats Sans Frontieres (ASF) France says it will engage with the police authorities on setting up a standard operating procedure for the Police Complaints Response Unit (PCRU) to ensure prompt response to human rights abuse matters.
Angela Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, Head of Office of ASF France in Nigeria, made this known on Wednesday during a two-day training for officers of the PCRU on response to human rights violations.
“We intend to continue to engage with the Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of the Inspector-General of Police,
“We are going to take forward the few recommendations that have been made at this training as they are coming out as we continue to engage with the officers.
“We are planning a high-level advocacy to push for issues such as the setting up of a standard operating procedure for the police complaints Response unit.
“The issues of impartiality will also be brought up and prompt response to complaints that have been brought to the unit,” she said.
She said that the issues of feedback to the complainants and Nigerians would also be looked into.
Uzoma-Iwuchukwu said the use of social media as efficient way of engaging victims of rights abuse would also be canvassed.
The Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chief Tony Ojukwu, said the Police Act conferred on the police the responsibility of crime prevention, protection of lives and property, investigation and prosecution of suspects, among others.
He said while acknowledging the important role of the Nigerian Police as contemplated by the Police Act, it was important for the police to carry out its functions in compliance with human rights standards.
“It needs not be emphasised that unless perpetrators of human rights violations are held accountable, impunity will thrive.
“Accountability for human rights violations are necessary conditions,” Ojukwu, who was represented by Dorothy Amah, Deputy Director of Legal, NHRC, said.
The High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria, Mr Jamie Christoff, said his country would continue to support ASF France in its efforts at tackling issues of human rights abuse in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 15 officers across the country from the PCRU were trained by the ASF France, also known as Lawyers Without Borders.