By Gladys Nweke
The Rivers State Police Command has charged members of the police enforcing the lock down to ensure that human right abuses are eliminated and to give access to journalists throughout the period of the lock down.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Nnamdi Omoni, warned officers in Rivers State to ensure that no journalist or doctor is molested or harnessed covering the lock down. He said; “I just got the signal of those on essential duties and journalists are number one on the list. I think because the police work hand in hand with the media and government, so the commissioner of police, CP Joseph Gobum Mukan, has warned all units, tactical heads, area commanders, divisional police officers, etc to call their men to order. Any policeman who breaches this order and is reported to the command will be dealt with. All journalists must have clear identification (Identity Card) stating so on him or her at all times.If at the point of arrest, you do not have identity card, as journalist or doctor or medical personnel you may need not to blame our officers.”
Nnamdi Omoni also emphasized on the need to respect human rights of every citizens and residents of the state. No policeman should be seen harassing any residents who are not armed, may also warn police men to remember we live in a digital world, videos are so easy to make now, anyone caught in such videos will face disciplinary action from the command. The IGP and The commissioner of police CP joseph Mukan does not play with issues of human rights abuses.
Nnamdi Omoni also hailed the court judgment sentencing a police sergeant, Johnbosco Okoronze, for aiding the escape of Ifeanyi Dike. Okoronze who was found guilty of aiding and assisting the escape of Ifeanyichukwu Maxwell-Dike from police custody was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
The judge had ruled that he decided to sentence Okoronze to one-year imprisonment because of the fact that he has served two years in prison already and has been dismissed from police force.
He warned officers serving in the command to take their job seriously.
DSP Omoni said police is one organisation that does not shield its own. “If you are found culpable in any crime or criminal matter, we do our investigations and orderly room trial and that is the end for that police officer, just like the case of Johnbosco. Upon interrogation, he was found culpable for aiding and abetting and was summarily dismissed and handed to court to face trials.”