Monday, October 24, 2011

"Policemen need psychiatric test"—Yakowa

For a much better relationship between the police and civilians so as to curb incessant torture and extrajudicial killings, officers and men of the Nigeria Police should undergo psychiatric tests twice a year, the governor of Kaduna State, Mr Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, has advocated.

Speaking during a workshop on Police Abuses in Nigeria which was jointly organised by Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) and the National Committee on Torture (NCoT),the governor, who was represented by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Jonathan Kish Adamu, noted that such tests would go a long way in curtailing a situation where many are killed or maltreated by the police.

He cited the case of the leader of the Boko Haram group in Maiduguri who was allegedly killed by the police, the Apo Seven killings and many others, insisting that it was important to re-orientate the police on how to handle crime situations.

“One word that best summarises the rule of law is justice. The Legal Aid Act Cap 205 laws of the federation (1990) as amended, is emphatic about the unimpeded right of access to justice.Where government fails to ensure unimpeded access to justice, it encourages people, especially the police, to take the laws into their hands.

“Section 4 of the Police Act spells out the general duties of the police which include among others, the protection of life and property and due enforcement of all laws. But there are countless allegations of the police committing extra-judicial killings.

“It should be spelt out to top officers that policemen who turn their guns on the defenceless, should initiate a reorientation programme aimed at teaching them how to handle weapons and deal with different crime situations without ending up as murderers.

“The orientation should involve experts in psychology, psychiatry, sociology and other human behavioural sciences, the governor added.”

Read more: Gbooza

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