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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has contested a report by the Amnesty International that policemen deployed excessive force against #EndSARS protesters.
The IG argued that his men ‘acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace” during the protests and the ensuing violence in parts of the country.’
According to him, 22 police officers also lost their lives while 205 police stations and formations were torched.
The global rights group had in its report knocked the police for assaulting the activists demanding police reforms, noting that they used excessive force on them.
AI stated that over 12 protesters died during the ensuing violence.
But the IG described the AI’s report as untrue, misleading and ‘contrary to all available evidence.’
The police rebuttal was contained in a statement on Friday, by the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, titled, ‘EndSARS protests: Police personnel were professional and exercised maximum restraints, IGP tells Amnesty International.’
It read, The IGP noted that during the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.
He reiterated that even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.
Available reports indicate that 22 police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests.
‘Two hundred and five police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters.’
Despite the alleged attacks, Adamu said the police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force as alleged in the report.
‘It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland,’ the statement observed.
The Force decried what it called the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by AI in its report.
It added, ‘One wonders if in the estimation of Amnesty International, police officers are not also human beings equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.’
Stating that the Force was committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing reforms of the Nigeria Police Force, the IG admonished AI to subject its reports to ‘adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making them public.’