• Policemen, Civilian JTF members, ministry official arrested, says IG
Soldiers, policemen and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) men and others have been implicated in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps sex scandal.
The policemen and CJTF suspects have been arrested. The Army and the Air Force are expected to surrender their implicated men, Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris said yesterday.
According to him, police investigators swung into action after the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on alleged sexual abuses, exploitation, harassment, gender-based violence and professional misconduct on IDPs. The camps were opened following the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.
Those indicted include two police officers, one prison warden, two civilian JTF members, a civilian from the Ministry of Agriculture, Maiduguri and three servicemen in the Army and the Air Force.
The HRW report alleged that there were 43 cases of abuses and misconduct.
Briefing senior officers at the Force Headquarters in Abuja yesterday, the IGP said: “About three or four weeks ago, I established a panel to investigate some allegations made by the Human Rights Watch.
“Investigation was conducted by the IGPs Monitoring Team at the Force Headquarters and they made contact with the Human Rights Watch in order for them to help us verify some of the allegations but, according to the response we got, they said they don’t reveal their sources of information.
“Despite that, our officers, with much tenacity and professionalism, were able to unearth some of the allegations and we have so far arrested some suspects. Some of these suspects are police officers, some are from sister agencies while some are civilians.”
Idris went on: “As I am talking to you, we have two police officers under investigation and they are in detention now. We have a prison warden, two civilian JTF, a civilian from the Ministry of Agriculture, Maiduguri who is now in our detention.
“In respect of our sister agency, we have written to them for them to avail us some of their personnel. These sister agencies, we are expecting three; obviously from the Army, and one from Airforce. Those are the people presently subjected to investigation.”
On efforts made to forestall future reoccurrence, the police chief said: “We know that it is an unfortunate incident that happened in most of these IDP camps and we are putting a lot of measures in place to address some of these issues.
“We have deployed a lot of women police officers in the camps in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state and we are going into partnership with the United States (U.S.) to see how we can enhance the training of our personnel who we are going to attach to some of these IDPs.
He added: “As usual, those in the police and the military, as a procedure, we are going to dismiss them first before we take them to court but I am assuring that they will be taken to court to answer for this criminal act which they conducted.”
-[The NATION Nigeria]