By Francis Ekpone
Chairman, Human Rights, Peace Access and Defenders Foundation (HRPADF), a civil society organization, Dede Uzor A Uzor made the call in Awka, Anambra state capital during award presentation to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), DCP Bassey Essien, Esq.
Essien received the human rights award for his commitment and dedication to duty.
Uzor, who led other members of the group to Awka for the award, described as inhuman, the parade of suspects by Nigeria Police, arguing that parading them before prosecution makes the suspects guilty before the law.
“We urge police officers to respect people’s fundamental rights. Suspects are assumed innocent until a court of competent jurisdiction proves otherwise and we are also campaigning against the parade of suspects. Parading them makes them guilty before the law. Human rights organizations are totally against that and that of indiscriminate arrest by men and officer of Nigeria police.
He also noted that Mr. Essien was spotted for the award for his immaculate record as DPO in 14 police divisions in Nigeria and Deputy Commissioner of Investment in Force Headquarters, Abuja between 2012 to 216.
“The era of suspects being detained beyond bounds was over since his assumption of office as the DCP SCID, Awka in 2016. Before now, people pay through their nose before police commence investigation but now, those things are no more. We did our internal and extensive investigation and discovered that he is a DCP with a different, hence this award to encourage him to continue to do more” he said
Responding, DCP Bassey Essien eulogised the human rights group for the gesture and urged them not to deviate from their responsibility of defending the downtrodden and helping the vulnerable in the society.
According to him, “It is the duty of Civil Society Organisations and human rights groups to protect the vulnerable in the society but today, people from all shields go with the name of human right and civil society, including drivers union. So I am calling on the media to help in exposing civil society organisations that are not working in line with the international best practice.
“I am not always interested in awards because of the way people bastardise it but this group, Human Rights, Peace Access and Defenders Foundation is different. I have interacted with them and discover that they are outstanding.
“The award will spur me to continue to do my best in service to humanity and society in general. In doing my job, I do it with the fear of God and I empathise with people I deal with. I don’t like injustice or situation where people are victimised. This award will surely enhance my performance” he said.