Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Nigeria Police Warns Nigerians Against ‘Jungle Justice’

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. MD Abubakar, has warned Nigerians to desist from taking the law into their hands in connection with citizens suspected to have committed a crime.

In a statement by police spokesman Frank Mba, the IGP underlined that every citizen is entitled to the fundamental right of fair hearing, and that nobody is guilty unless 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 statement said. “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.”

Mr. Abubakar noted that the Force is not opposed to citizens or members of vigilante groups exercising their powers of arrest as private citizens, but that such powers must be exercised within the law, and such persons arrested must be immediately handed over to the nearest Police Station within the shortest possible time. 

He called on the human rights community and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to live up to their responsibility of enlightening the public on the dangers and consequences associated with engaging in jungle justice, and promised that the Police will continue to work with other relevant authorities in ensuring quick dispensation of justice in the courts

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