The Civil Society Coalition Against Impunity has asked the Nigeria Police Force to release a corps member, Emeh Nnamdi, who had revealed how some police personnel carried out human rights violations in Anambra State, or charge him to court.
In a statement signed by the 28 CSOs, the group said that the Nigerian police must release Nnamdi or immediately charge him in court if he is found to have committed any crime.
According to the coalition, Nnamdi, 26, a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and an IT consultant to the Anambra State Police Command has been in detention in Abuja since 3rd of March 2023 after he was arrested in Benin Republic for revealing shocking details about police extortion, torture, extrajudicial executions, and organ harvesting being allegedly perpetrated by senior police officers in Anambra.
It will be recalled that on the 16th of February 2023, Gistlover an anonymous whistle-blowing website revealed the shocking details about how senior police officers in Zone 13 and Anambra State Command were involved in extortion, extrajudicial execution, enforced disappearance, and organ harvesting of detainees in their custody.
The story was corroborated by video evidence of former detainees who were forced to confess to serious crimes and were shortly made to disappear. Some families of the victims have since corroborated the story.
Shortly after the revelation, Nigerian Police authorities announced that it will launch a full-scale investigation into the allegations, but instead of taking the accused police officers into custody, it declared Nnamdi, who works with the accused police team, wanted for sundry offenses. It is believed that he must have passed the vital information to Gistlover blog.
The coalition further stated that on the 2nd of April 2023, Nnamdi was transferred to the Anambra state police command where he is currently facing further interrogation.
“Among his interrogators in Anambra state are senior police officers whom he had indicted for seizing posh vehicles recovered from criminal suspects who were later executed in police custody. This offends the principle of natural justice, which espouses that one should not be a judge in one’s case,” said the coalition.
The group urges the Police immediately release the whistleblower or charge him for a recognised offense, adding, “We believe that Emeh Nnamdi could be at risk of ill-treatment or extrajudicial execution if he is not released or charged to court immediately. We believe that whistle-blowers are vital for a transparent society. When exercising the right to inform and be informed and the right of people to the truth, whistle-blowers play a crucial part.
“They are essential to awakening informed debate within public opinion, crucial to opening up investigations by journalists and necessary for questioning decision-makers. Whistleblowers are a vital link in the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, transparency, accountability, social justice, and the fight against corruption.”
The group called on the Nigerian police to immediately release and drop the charges against Nnamdi or charge him to court with a recognizable offense.
They also demanded: “The police authorities must end the intimidation, harassment, and attacks on Nnamdi, his family, and friends. They must ensure that the report of the panel set up by the police authorities to investigate the allegation against top police officers in Anambra state is released promptly and everybody indicted prosecuted according to the law.”
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