The Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu (SAN), has assured the Nigeria Police Force that the Federal Government will continue to provide the necessary budgetary allocations to enhance the welfare of police personnel across the country.
Ojukwu, who was represented by the Director, Civil and Political Rights, Abdulraham Yakubu, said this while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt during a two-day training organised for police personnel in the South-South geo-political zone.
The training, which was themed ‘mainstreaming Human Rights into law enforcement in Nigeria,’ was supported by the Macarthur Foundation.
Yakubu said the training was to ensure that policemen respected the rights of members of the public while carrying out their duties.
He added, “So, we are all aware of public agitations of human rights violations by police personnel. And, the police are very important to law enforcement because there is no local government in Nigeria that doesn’t have the presence of police personnel.
“The constitution and many other laws have given the police the power to maintain peace, law, and order. Therefore, they cannot be left alone to carry out these huge and enormous responsibilities without complying with the constitution and various laws that guide the criminal justice system in the country.”
Asked about the persistent challenge of funding the police, he said, “I’m sure we all know that the Federal Government, over the years, has been increasing the funding level of the police.
“And, that is why the FG established what they call the police trust fund.
“This police trust fund is also to assist, apart from the budgetary allocations given to the Nigerian Police. This is also an alternative means of assisting the police in procuring special communication gadgets and other facilities that will help them in carrying out their duties.
“And I’m also sure that we will start to see an increase in the level of budget appropriation to the Nigerian Police, and also, in providing certain welfare to motivate them. So, I think, over the years, we will start to see the benefits of all these means of funding the Nigerian Police,” he stated.
According to him, one of the objectives of the training was to keep enlightening the policemen to know that there was no hiding place, saying, “So, whenever there is violation or corruption, they (operatives) will be held accountable.”
Earlier, the Project Coordinator for the event, Ifeoma Wakama, said the training was to ensure that operatives uphold human rights standards when they are doing their normal work, saying, “When that is done, we will have improved performance by the police.”
In his goodwill message, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, thanked the commission for contributing to human rights in the country and building the capacity of policemen.
Eboka, who was represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Olayinka Ajeigbe, urged the personnel to replicate the knowledge gained in the training, in their respective states, in order to improve public perception of the police.