By Eric Ojo, Abuja
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has called for stiff disciplinary measures against Police Officers involved in the alleged brutality against workers of the Women Aid Collective (WACOL), in Enugu State.
The Commission had earlier received a petition from WACOL requesting it to bring the Police Officers who had allegedly beaten up and brutalized their workers to book.
The recommendation of the PSC is sequel to the endorsement of the report by the Special Panel of Enquiry set up by the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command on the allegation.
The Report had recommended that the Police Officers who were directly involved in the incident be made to face full disciplinary measures to serve as deterrent to others.
The Report also recommended that various agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions should be advised to play according to the rules and avoid exhibiting overbearing attitudes on Police Officers in the discharge of their duties/.
“The Commission after a review of the report of the Special Panel is satisfied that it followed due process and made implementable recommendations”, a statement by its Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, Ikechukwu Ani said in Abuja on Thursday.
The statement added that civil society groups and other development partners have been urged to join the Commission in its effort to ensure that the Police are “responsive to the citizens’ distress calls and respect their constitutionally guaranteed rights”.
The Commission equally advised that sensationalism in reporting alleged misconduct against the Police should be avoided, adding that instead the civil society groups should endeavour to place unreserved confidence in the “resolve and determination of the Commission to hold the Police to account”.
The PSC, according to the statement, recently issued a policy which it is currently implementing to hold individual Police Officers personally accountable for excessive use of force and abuse of office.
It further explained that the due enforcement of the policy will enhance sanity in police operations, ensure transparency and accountability.
“While the Commission does not lose sight of the fact that some bad eggs in the Police have committed erosion of fundamental rights of citizens over time, it is the view of the Commission that the Nigeria Police Force must be given the benefit of the doubt that they have a workable internal disciplinary mechanism which, if well deployed, can effectively put erring Members in check”, the statement added.
It also stressed that the outcome of the Special Panel Report, has demonstrated the workability of the internal disciplinary mechanism of the Force.
“The Commission believes that its constitutional mandate in matters of police discipline imposes on it the responsibility to ensure that the recommendations of the Panel are duly implemented”, the statement noted.