Amnesty International on Thursday has accused the Nigerian Police of grooming several of its personnel for torturing suspects.
In a report titled “Welcome to Hellfire,” Amnesty International said designated police officers are involved in carrying out atrocities such as pulling teeth, choking, raping and delivering electric shocks to detainees. The human rights organisation, however, said such inhuman actions are permissible by law in the country since Nigeria is yet to have a law banning torture.
But Nigeria Police has dismissed the report, saying it was filled with “blatant falsehoods and innuendoes”. Force spokesman, Emmanuel Ojukwu berated Amnesty for not speaking with the Police before publishing the report.
He said that “torture or ill-treatment is not, repeat, not an official policy of the Nigeria police.”
The use of torture is particularly extreme in the north-east in the war against Boko Haram Islamist militants, Amnesty says.
The UK-based rights group says between 5,000 and 10,000 people have been arrested there since 2009, and executions in overcrowded detention facilities are common.
“Across the country, the scope and severity of torture inflicted on Nigeria’s women, men and children by the authorities supposed to protect them is shocking to even the most hardened human rights observer,” Netsanet Belay, research director at the rights group, said in a statement
Ojukwu, however, promised to read the report and possibly investigate its contents. “The Nigeria Police Force shall meticulously scan through the document, and investigate any current human rights abuses linked to any officer or formation,” he said.