By Joy Baba
Deeply concerned about the increasing tendency by some citizens to resort to extra-judicial killings – Jungle Justice – against those suspected to have committed one crime or another in Nigeria, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar, yesterday warned citizens to desist from such reprehensible acts.
According to a press statement issued by the Police Force Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Frank Mbah, the IGP noted that that every Nigerian citizen is entitled to the Fundamental Right of fair hearing, insisting that none is guilty except a law court of competent jurisdiction expressly says so.
He, therefore, has directed Zonal AIGs, Command CPs and other field Commanders to take adequate measures to ensure that the rights of every Nigerian citizen, including those of suspected criminals, are protected. The IGP warns that any person found to be involved in any acts of impunity or jungle justice must bear the full wrath of the law as two wrongs cannot make a right.
Also, noting that the Force is not opposed to citizens or members of Vigilante groups exercising their powers of arrest as private citizens, the IGP insists that such powers must be exercised within the confines of the Law. Therefore, all such persons arrested must be immediately handed over to the nearest Police Station within the shortest possible time.
The IGP, therefore, called on the social and critical mass, particularly the Human Rights Community and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to live up to their responsibility of enlightening the public on the dangers and consequences associated with engaging in jungle justice.
While promising that the Police will continue to work with other relevant authorities in ensuring quick dispensation of justice at the Law Courts, the IGP implores citizens to repose confidence in the Police and the entire Justice System.