The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has challenged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, and the new Rivers State Commissioner of Police (CP), Friday Eboka, to implement the white paper submitted by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry which was set up to Investigate Human Rights Abuses by the disbanded SARS officers, saying this will serve as proof that the Federal Government was serious about ending police brutality in the country.
The governor stated this on Friday, when he received the report from the chairman of the commission, Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (rtd) at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike added that by setting up the Judicial Commission of Inquiry which has now produced a white paper, his government has done its part, leaving the responsibility of implementation in the hands of the Inspector General of Police.
“The truth of the matter is I am not sure the present Inspector General (IG) is out to fight insecurity. Now, he has appointed a new Police Commissioner for political patronage.
“If at the end of the day, we come out with the White Paper and the Attorney General sends it to the police to implement or to prosecute as the case may be, will it be implemented?
“That is why I am challenging the IG and the new CP to make sure that they justify that the Federal Government is serious about telling states to set up Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the brutality of the police and the security agencies.”
In his remark, Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (rtd.) said the commission received 190 petitions, strikinout 82 for lack of due diligence or jurisdiction and eventually considered 108 of them.
According to him, the figure depicts the highest level of recklessness, abuse of law and order in the country.
He revealed further that the policemen who committed the crime against Rivers people, specially Mr Akin Fakorede and his other cohorts, do not have any affinity with the State.
“It is noteworthy that our commission has the highest number of petition in the federation. Lagos has 210 petitions while we have 190 petitions. Lagos is still there but by the grace of God, we are here presenting this report to you.
“It is our opinion that this figure represents the highest degree of total disregard of law and order by law enforcement agencies in the State.”
Meanwhile the governor has appointed a five member Committee from ththe State Executive Council who will study the report and determine the content of the White Paper.
In a statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Rivers State governor, Mr. Kelvin Ebiri, the members of the committee are the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice , Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor; Head of Service, Mr. Rufus Godwins, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Mrs. Inime Chinwenwo- Aguma, Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, and Commissioner for Energy Dr. Peter Medee.