DSS, Police, Nigerian Army riddled with impunity, corruption — US Report

DSS, Police, Nigerian Army riddled with impunity, corruption — US Report

Impunity and corruption, among other vices, are primary causes of impunity in Nigeria’s security agencies, including the police, the State Security Service (DSS), and the army, according to the US government.

This was mentioned by the US government’s Department of State in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2021. On Tuesday, April 12th, the report was made public.

The report addressed a variety of topics, including civil and human rights, public sector corruption, and impunity in Nigeria’s security architecture.

The US also accused the Nigerian security agents of acting beyond civilian authority without fear of punishment or repercussions.

“Impunity, exacerbated by corruption and a weak judiciary, remained a significant problem in the security forces; especially in police, military, and the Department of State Services (DSS),” the U.S. government said.

”Police, the military, and the Department of State Services (DSS) reported to civilian authorities; but periodically acted outside civilian control.

”The national police, army, and other security services sometimes used force to disperse protesters; and apprehend criminals and suspects. Police forces engaging in crowd-control operations generally attempted to disperse crowds using nonlethal tactics; such as firing tear gas, before escalating their use of force.

“Human rights violations, corruption; and extrajudicial crimes by officials of the Nigerian security forces have remained a concern; with several reports highlighting a large number of Nigerians who are being targeted regularly.”

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The U.S. government also identified how the findings of various federal panels of inquiry established by Nigerian security forces to investigate suspected human rights breaches within the security forces were kept secret.

”The government regularly utilised disciplinary boards and mechanisms to investigate security force members and hold them accountable for crimes committed on duty, but the results of these accountability mechanisms were not always made public,” the report said.

The U.S. report also accused the Nigerian military forces of arbitrarily arresting; and detaining persons in the fight against Boko Haram and ISIS-WA in the North-east of the country last year.

It added that the Nigerian law enforcement and intelligence agencies did not always follow due process, arresting suspects; without proper arrest and search warrants, in their pursuit of corruption cases.

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