Isoko Monitoring Group (IMG) has called on the Delta State Commissioner of police to abstain from torturing crime suspects before they are pronounced criminals by a competent Court of Law.
IMG President, Comr. Sabastine Agbefe made the call yesterday while addressing newsmen in Oleh over the arrest of some suspected criminals, who are allegedly involved in kidnapping and armed robbery.
Agbefe said, “our attention has been drawn to the parade to the press and the general public of some suspected criminals including one also known as Anthony Ogbalor aka Dracula, a former President of the Isoko Youth Body for alleged participation in criminal activities including robbery, running a kidnap syndicate and the murder of a former Area Commander in Ughelli Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force in the Delta State.
“It is a notable fact that the Isoko Nation is a peace loving people and frowns against any form of criminality no matter who is involved. We want to commend the Commissioner of Police for his achievements in the fight against activities of criminal elements and persons of the underworld in the State.
“However, we must express our concern and displeasure over the parade of the said suspects in a manner that seems conclusive of their guilt of the commission of the said crimes even before they have their day in court especially as their physical appearance portrays unlawful and illegal torture. It is the extant law and the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“We therefore, urge the Police to carry out the investigation of the said crimes with strict compliance with the rule of law and in accordance with the provisions of the law of the land. We also want to warn the Police against any form of further torture or extra-judicial killings in the handling of this matter.
“We want to inform the Police that the Isoko Nation is watching with kin interest the handling of this matter. We also want to use this opportunity to warn politicians to desist from the use of youths for unwholesome activities especially as we approach the election year and also desist from the use of the Police to settle political scores based on crafted allegations and frivolous petitions to the Police.
“We called on all community and traditional leaders in Isoko nation to always put the interest of the Isoko people first before their personal interest, adding that there is need to end some unnecessary internal rivalry in some Isoko communities, which are affecting the peaceful disposition of the Isokos negatively” he added.