MUHAMMED Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, has issued a new operational guidelines for the Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic prevention enforcement duties.
A statement issued by the police stated that Adamu unveiled the new guidelines on Monday, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja as part of measures to foster a more harmonious relationship between the police and members of the public.
The IGP explained that the guidelines would deepen respect for the rights of citizens and provide anew set of policing tools for tackling emerging crimes such as domestic violence, rape, child molestation and other incidents of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
He expressed concerns about the increase in reported cases of domestic violence, rape, defilement, cybercrimes linked with the COVID-19 restrictions among others, adding that the new guidelines would also serve as a standard code of conduct for police officers in similar operations in the future.
Adamu also ordered the strengthening of the Gender-Desk Units and the Juvenile Welfare Centres (JWCs) across the country and the deployment of investigative assets to deal with gender related offences.
He added that the Cybercrime Unit of the Force has also been strengthened to deal with cybercrimes connected with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IGP further stated that Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police in Zonal and State Commands as well as Heads of Police Departments/Formations have been directed to make the guidelines subject of departmental briefings and lectures.
In a report by Aljazeera in April, at least 18 persons were killed by security forces during the enforcement of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 .
The most recent was the killing of 17-year-old Tina Ezekwe in Lagos.
Also, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said in a release that it had received and documented “105 complaints of incidents of human rights violations perpetuated by security forces” in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja, the capital.
Of these complaints, the Commissiosn said “there were eight documented incidents of extrajudicial killings leading to 18 deaths.”
Abeeb Alawiye formerly works with The ICIR as a Reporter/Social Media officer. Now work as a Senior Journalist with BBC News Yoruba. You can shoot him an email via Abeeb.firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @habsonfloww