Police officers arrested for molesting civilians in Imo

Nigerian Police Boss, Mr. Mohammed Adamu

The police in Imo State said some of their officers have been arrested for allegedly assaulting five people, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has reported.

The assault, captured in a video posted on Twitter and Facebook, showed the officers flogging the victims, at least two of them women, at a road junction in Orlu, the second largest city after Owerri, in Imo.

Orlu made headlines recently because of a deadly military operation in the city caused by a clash between Nigerian soldiers and some youth believed to be members of the Eastern Security Network, an indigenous security outfit in South-east Nigeria.

The police spokesperson in Imo State, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the arrest of the officers in a statement on Thursday.

The statement, however, did not mention how many officers were arrested, their identity or ranks.

Mr Ikeokwu, a superintendent of police, said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Nasiru Mohammed, described the action of the officers as “inhuman”, unprofessional and unacceptable.

“The command, while condemning the action, wishes to inform the general public that the officers have been identified, arrested and disciplinary action commenced (against them),” the statement said.

The statement, which urged residents to report police abuses in the state, said the police were yet to find out the identity of the victims of the assault.

Nigeria has a poor human rights record under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, as several of the country’s citizens are frequently brutalised by security officers without any hope of getting justice.

It was reported, in November, how an unidentified soldier assaulted a commercial driver and threatened to kill him for overtaking his car on the Abuja-Kaduna road, North-central Nigeria.

Some soldiers in Ibadan, Nigeria’s South-west, were caught on camera in November flogging one woman in public whom they accused of “indecent dressing.”

Still in Delta State, soldiers in October reportedly forced a medical doctor to swim in the mud for “violating curfew.”