The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has admitted that the wanton rot in the criminal justice system has in recent times escalated the culture of self help and the spate of terrorist attacks in the country.
The attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice (AGF), Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), made this observation while delivering a keynote address yesterday at the national dialogue on torture, extrajudicial killings and national security, entitled, ‘Human Rights Implications’, organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja.
Adoke said that the federal government had noted with concern that the police had, through the years, relied on ‘Police Force Order 237’ to commit extrajudicial killings.
He said that the order, which allows the police to shoot any suspect or detainees trying to escape or avoid arrest, had led to the extrajudicial killings of 7,195 people in four years, out of which 2,500 were detainees.
The AGF said: “A recent report by the Network on Police Report in Nigeria (NOPRINN) said the reckless use of arms by security agents had resulted extrajudicial deaths in four years across the country.
“More recently, the chairman of the NHRC revealed that this approximated to the summary execution of well over 2,500 detainees.
“Although these figures have been stoutly disputed by the police, even the most charitable defenders of the force cannot deny that some dishonourable officers indeed have taken the law into their hands in the most barbaric fashion, by killing suspects and innocent citizens,’’ Adoke added.