Human Rights Violation by Security Agents

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Human Rights Violation by Security Agents

Human rights are inalienable to every human being everywhere, founded on respect for dignity and worth of each individual.

Every individual whether male or female, young or old, rich or poor, irrespective of race or religious beliefs, are entitled to these fundamental human rights.

It is in view of this, that the police and other security agencies were established to enforce laws and protect lives and property of the citizens.

Unfortunately, the activities of some bad eggs are denting the image in some of these agencies.

Allegations of abuses by security agents including arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and extra judicial killings have continued to trail security operatives across the country.

Before the advent of e-banking, there were reports of travellers who fell victim of armed robbers or greedy security agents.

For instance, in 2001, three mobile policemen were sentenced to death by a Lokoja High Court in Kogi State for attacking and killing five ram traders and collecting their money at Okene on their way to the North.

Many Nigerians trying to make ends meet as taxi drivers and shop keepers are accosted on a daily basis by armed security men who demand bribes and commit human right abuses as a means of extorting money.

Cases of plain clothed police officers rounding up citizens at gun point in public places including mass arrest at restaurants, markets and bus stops, taking them to nearby police stations where they demand money in return for their release also abound.

The way and manner some of these bad elements in the force perform their duties has created a palpable fear in the minds of most Nigerians.

Other security outfits are not left out of these human rights violations.

Apart from citizens knowing their rights, governmental agencies need to be told that they have a responsibility to protect and uphold the rights of the citizens.

It will not be out of place to say that government and the leadership of these agencies have on many occasions, acknowledged these problems and have launched several reform initiatives including increased funding and improved welfare packages to mitigate the trend.

It behoves government and relevant agencies to carry out proper investigations on human rights abuse committed by security agencies and ensure that those found culpable are prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.

Zainab Akande


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