Police panel to investigate alleged abuses in IDP camps

Mohammed Husaini

Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris

Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has set up a special team to immediately begin a thorough investigation into all cases of alleged sexual abuse, exploitation, harassment, gender based violence and professional misconduct against Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in some of North-eastern states.

A report published by Human Rights Watch made the allegations against camp officials, vigilante groups, soldiers and policemen among others.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner Don Awunah, said the police boss, who is committed to the protection of all Nigerians, especially vulnerable groups, had expressed deep concern over the submissions in the report and had directed the Special Investigation Panel to carry out a discreet and unbiased investigation into all the cases of abuse and misconduct alleged in the report.

However, the IGP has called on Human Rights Watch officials to provide the investigation team with more facts to assist the Police team conclude the inquiry into the alleged forty three (43) cases mentioned in the report.

He directed that “all the Commissioners of Police in locations where IDP Camps are situated to beef up security and ensure adequate safety of all IDPs and ensure that all perpetrators of any criminal act are decisively dealt with in accordance to the law. The IGP further urged all police officers and other personnel deployed to the IDP camps to strictly adhere to the rules of engagement.

The Nigeria Police Force assures all Nigerians and the International community that the Force will not condone any act that violates the human dignity of the IDPs by individuals or group of persons in the IDP camps or anywhere in the country.”