*faults IGP over step against Osun allegation of rape by police woman:
Civil Rights Advocacy Group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has expressed sadness that the hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force has not found it necessary to set up effective internal mechanisms to check the proliferation of alleged sexual molestation of Junior female operatives by their male seniors.
HURIWA strongly faulted the decision of the police Inspector General directing the Osun State Police Command to handle the investigation of the allegations of sexual molestation made against a senior police officer by a junior police female operative just as HURIWA said the investigation wouldn’t be thorough and is bound to be compromised by esprit d’corp within the Osun State’s police command.
HURIWA recalled that the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had directed the Commissioner of Police, Osun Command, Olaleye Faleye, to investigate the alleged assault on woman Police Inspector, Bamidele Olorunsogo, by her DCO, Ajayi Matthew, in Ode-Omu, area of the state. This comes after a video showing a dehumanized and battered Bamidele went viral on social media.
HURIWA quoted the alleged sexual violated police female operative as stating thus: “What is my offence? He started beating me to the extent, he stripped me. Look at my chest, arms, everywhere, there are injuries. He’s Ajayi Matthew. He asked me out, that I should befriend him. I said no, that I’m a married woman. He started blackmailing me, claiming that he’s my lover, which is not true. Efforts to reach Matthews made by the media to comment on the allegation were futile, as the policeman didn’t take calls to his phone by our correspondent.
HURIWA said it shows how underrated the serious issue of sexual molestation of female officers by their male senior officers is so much so that the Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, when contacted by the media on Wednesday, said the Force Headquarters will await a report of the investigation from the Osun State Command, and take necessary actions on the matter. “We will await the report of the investigation from the Osun State Police Command before necessary actions are taken. “We, however, assure the general public that justice will be done on this case, to protect the core values and ethics of the NPF,” Adejobi said.
HURIWA’S media statement follows allegation of sexual violation by a police woman, Olorunsogo Bamidele in Osun State made against her very senior officer even as the Rights group said it has consistently been told by many beautiful Police female operatives that the policing institution in Nigeria has become like ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’- a term which means that sexual molestation of females by male senior officers has become increasingly unceasing.
HURIWA in the statement endorsed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko the National Coordinator claimed that most of the police female operatives who volunteered information on these allegations of sexual molestation said they have no way of getting reprieve since they constantly come under threats of dismissal should they report their seniors.
HURIWA also blamed the non-functionality of any sort of mechanisms by the Police Service Commission to critically subject cases of sexual violations made by female officers by senior male officers even as HURIWA called on the acting Chairman of the Police Service Commission to set up a specialised department for investigation of cases of sexual violations made by the police against the police or civilians against police operatives/officers. HURIWA said our claims to practicing constitutional democracy will remain a mirage so long as an institution like the Police still treats cases of sexual offences amongst their officers as a non-issue.
HURIWA recalled that hundreds of people have claimed they were sexually harassed by male police officers in the past many years, prompting calls from senior officers for outdated and unacceptable behaviour to be “rooted out”.
The Rights group reminded tje Nogeria Police that in United Kingdom, a Guardian investigation using freedom of information laws has revealed that more than half of British police forces received almost 450 complaints from staff and members of the public about sexual harassment. They included accusations against senior detectives and inspectors.
Yet a fraction of the cases led to dismissal, with a number of cases simply resulting in an officer resigning or retiring.
HURIWA citing media reports said even in Britain, the true number of harassment grievances was likely to be even higher as only 28 out of 43 police forces provided data, with many – including the Metropolitan police – claiming they were unable to supply information or had failed to respond within the time limit. The Rights group however said Nigeria Police can learn a lot of lessons from the London Metropolitan police whereby cases of sexual violations are not treated with levity like the Nigeria Police Force does.
HURIWA also disclosed that it has resolved to write to the Governors of the 36 Stayes of the federation and the federal capital territory to admonish the states to set up special state courts for special sexial and domesticated related offences just like what is obtained in Lagos. HURIWA will also introduce a programme soon on eradication of sexual molestation of female security operatives in Nigeria because they are ‘SUFFERING AND SMILING’.