Friday, April 12, 2024

Police officers have constitutional powers to kill, IG Adamu writes in new signal

The inspector-general cited a section of the Constitution that allows officers to kill if they have reasonable justification.

• November 7, 2020
Mohammed Adamu
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu (Photo Credit: @policeNG)

Police Inspector-General Mohammed Adamu has told officers in an internal memo to use live rounds to prevent illegal acts amongst citizens.

Mr. Adamu said in the November 6 police signal that officers should hold no responsibility if they kill anyone for trying to resist arrest or escape from police custody.

The police chief cited Section 33 (2) of the Constitution, which said no one would be deemed to have been deprived of life if the person was killed while evading arrest, fleeing from detention, taking part in insurrection or rioting.

While Mr. Adamu’s directive appeared to have the backing of the law, rights activists feared it could further embolden officers to continue fatal attacks on civilians.

“The IG should not be issuing a directive remembering police officers on how to kill and justify it,” rights campaigner Ibrahim Kaita told Peoples Gazette on Saturday afternoon.

Mr. Adamu has laboured over the past week to boost the morale of officers following recent thug violence that left hundreds of police stations burnt across the country. Dozens of police officers were also killed in the violence, which followed Nigerian Army’s killing of #EndSARS protesters in Lagos on October 20.

But coming at a time when police officers are facing resistance from #EndSARS protesters, Mr. Adamu’s order could prove counterproductive for its potential misrepresentation, Mr. Kaita said.

“We sympathise with the police for the officers lost to hoodlums,” Mr. Kaita said. “But we know that the police have a history of extra-judicial killing and officers who are readily happy to pull the trigger could misinterpret the IG’s order to start killing people.”

“Under our outdated constitutional provisions, the police have too much latitude to kill anyone and make up a label that fits under the Constitution to justify it,” Mr. Kaita said. “Given the ongoing negotiation between government and protesters, the IG’s memo is very dangerous and in bad faith.”

Police spokesman Frank Mba did not return multiple requests seeking comments about the IG’s controversial signal on Saturday.

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Katsina State


Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku

“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”



U.S. government donates laboratory equipment to Nigeria to tackle disease outbreaks

The U.S. official also noted that Nigeria was facing several disease outbreaks.

FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike [Credit: Chi Geru]


Wike vows to bring development to rural areas in FCT

“The rural areas are part of the FCT and should enjoy good governance.”

Peter Mbah


Enugu govt. queries 164 civil servants for absenteeism

“We are also introducing electronic clock-in and the watchword is productivity.”

Governor Ademola Adeleke


Gov. Adeleke sets up committee to tackle sexual violence against women

The statement said the court would be dedicated to addressing issues of sexual and gender-based violence.

Market on fire

Heading 4

NEMA commiserates with Lagos govt. over Dosunmu Market fire

She said emergency responders in the state would continue to sensitise Lagos residents on safety.