By Innocent Anaba
A civil society group in Onitsha, Anambra State, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Inter-society, will today, release the report of its special investigation into the over 25 dead bodies found floating on Ezu River located at Amansea part of Awka, the capital city of Anambra State in the late night/early morning of January 18 and 19, 2013.
Intersociety’s board chairman, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, in a statement, on the report, said: “It is recalled that between 25 and 40 dead bodies or more were shockingly found floating on Ezu River located at Amansea part of Awka, the capital city of Anambra State in the late night/early morning of January 18 and 19, 2013.”
On the report, he said the 33-page special investigation report used Ezu River Police killings by security agencies as a case-study, adding: “There have been high and untamed incidences of torture and extra judicial, extra legal and arbitrary executions and other unlawful killings in detention custodies in Nigeria, especially in detention facilities across the country managed by the operatives and commanders of the Special Anti Robbery Squads, SARS of the Nigeria Police Force.”
“The research findings is in recognition of the fact that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria’s criminal justice, especially criminal investigation and prosecution is the use or application of wrong methods or methods of the stone age in its criminal justice system and administration.
“These have been substantially responsible for 65 per cent or more losses recorded in criminal prosecution in courts as well as bad international image of the country’s policing institutions, particularly the Nigeria Police Force and its SARS special section, owing to reckless and indiscriminate use or application of crude practices of torture, extra judicial, extra legal and arbitrary arrest, detention and executions and other unlawful killings in custody in the procession and interrogation of the arrested citizens in Nigeria. ”
Totality of these has also led to hundreds of custodial deaths every months and thousands annually.
“Despite the fact that leading and respected local and international human rights groups and research institutions have severally raised concerns through their comprehensive and detailed research findings over these torture and unlicensed butcheries and made far reaching recommendations to Nigeria’s criminal justice managers/administrators, yet these crude practices have continued untamed and risen to an apogee, thereby making Nigeria a world leading country with Stone Age criminal justice system and administration especially as they concern criminal investigation and prosecution management or process,” he added.