The Nigeria Police Force has been challenged to account for the whereabouts of over 500 paraded suspected armed Fulani bandits, kidnappers and other armed hoodlums arrested in the northern part of the country early this year.
The challenge was made by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) which accused the police of only taking delight in parading suspects without actually prosecuting them.
The pro-democracy group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it was regrettable that, “the police frequently parades hundreds of suspected armed kidnappers and hoodlums but only very few, notably the Billionaire kidnapper Mr. Evans has been prosecuted whereas all others arrested around the Northern axis made up of armed Fulani herdsmen turned bandits and kidnappers have seldomly been known to have been prosecuted the same way that Evans the billionaire kidnapper has faced the long arm of the law.”
HURIWA stated that it was “inconceivable that the offices of the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation including the Attorney Generals of the respective states in some Northern States like Zamfara will allow the Zamfara State governor to embark on negotiated settlements with armed Fulani bandits who are responsible for some 3,000 mass murders instead of bringing these culprits to face justice in accordance with the laws.”
“HURIWA demands that the top hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force to transparently render accounts publicly and open up the books and detention facilities to the National Human Rights Commission and credible civil Rights advocacy groups all across the Country to verify the exact situations concerning the progress of prosecution or otherwise of the well over 500 paraded suspected armed Fulani bandits and kidnappers.”
The Rights group said the measure was necessary “so the insinuations that the Police usually set free these armed Fulani bandits and armed herdsmen as soon as they are paraded in the media is doused.”
The group also wondered why suddenly there is a “spike in armed Fulani banditry in far away Enugu state in which over two dozen innocent persons including Catholic priests have been slaughtered. There is the accusations that those inflicting terror in Enugu state may have been those set free by the police authority in Abuja and far North.”