The Nigerian police are denying
allegations by Human Rights Watch that the police and army troops carried out
more than 90 summary executions in suppressing violent political and religious
rioting in the city of Jos.
Hundreds of people were killed on November 28 and
29 during clashes between Christians and Muslims in reaction to a disputed local
election results. Human Rights Watch reportedly said over the weekend that mainly Muslim
men and youths were gunned down by men in uniform on the orders of the Plateau
Agberiebi Akpoebi is the assistant commissioner and first public
relations officer for the Nigeria national police. He told VOA the claims by Human Rights Watch are not true.
Jos, we actually did witness riots in which different groups which were opposed
themselves politically attacked themselves resulting in some deaths and the
destruction of property. The security agencies, that’s the police and the armed
forces did not carry out any summary executions, but they did ensure that
everything was done to stop further killings and the destruction of property,”
Rights Watch reportedly said the vast majority of the killings were carried out
by a special unit called the Police Mobile Force.
acknowledged the presence of the Police Mobile Force but said they did not
carry out any summary executions as alleged by Human Rights Watch.
he said he has not read the report, Akpoebi described it as an imagination of
Human Rights Watch.
have said that such killings did not occur. They are just the imagination of a group
of people who under the guise of Human Rights Watch have decided to make such
allegations. I have said the crisis in Jos was between groups that were opposed
to themselves politically and the security agencies, the police and the army
only took steps to ensure that peace returned to Jos. There was nothing like
summary killings as alleged in that report. Like I have already said, I have
not read the report. And I have assured you that I will do everything to get
that report, look at it and then I will probably get back to you if there’s
need for further comment,” he said.
report alleged that most of the killings took place on the same day that the
Plateau State governor issued a ‘shoot-on-sight order. Akpoebi denied that
the governor gave such orders.
was no such order issued, but I do know that the governor of the state appealed
to all the warring parties to allow peace to reign in Plateau State. And of
course the Nigerian police and other security agencies had a constitutional
responsibility to ensure that peace returns,” Akpoebi said.
said the Nigerian police is a transparent organization, and said he the
allegations by Human Rights Watch report would be looked into.