For allegedly raping Internally
Displaced Persons in the North-East, three soldiers, two policemen and a prison
official have been arrested.
Arrested alongside the soldiers and
policemen for the same offence were one prison official, a member of staff, Borno
Ministry of Agriculture and two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, Borno
The officials were accused of
involving in sexual exploitation and abuse of IDPs in the North-East.
The Inspector-General of Police,
Ibrahim Idris, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Abuja, adding that if indicted the
policemen and other security operatives involved in the alleged crime would be
dismissed and prosecuted after investigation.
A Non-Governmental Organisation,
Human Rights Watch, had in its report accused camp officials, vigilance groups,
soldiers and policemen of engaging in sexual harassment of women and teenagers
in IDP camps in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
A few of the victims told Human
Rights Watch that they were drugged and raped while 37 were coerced into sex
through false marriage promises, material and financial assistance.
Shocked by the allegations,
President Muhammadu Buhari directed the IG and the state governments to carry
out a thorough investigation into the alleged incidents.
But responding to questions shortly
before the commencement of his monthly conference with senior police officers
in Abuja, the IG said the police would liaise with the Army and the Air Force
to make their indicted officials available for interrogation.
He said, “From the findings so far,
we have succeeded in our investigation. A number of suspects have been arrested
and they include two policemen, three army officers, one prison official; one
Air Force officer, an employee of the Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and
two members of the Civilian JTF.”
Idris stated that the force had put
in mechanisms, including the deployment of female police officers to IDP camps
in order to check recurrence.
On the Rivers rerun election, the
IG said the force had begun the deployment of personnel to the state, adding
that he would be in the state on Thursday to meet with the security personnel
on election duty.
Asked to respond to the allegation
by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that the police were colluding with the
All Progressives Congress to rig the forthcoming rerun election in the state,
Idris declined to comment, stating that he had a good working relationship with
all the 36 state governors.
He said, “I don’t want to trade
allegations with the governor on the pages of newspapers; we have 36 governors
in the country and I have a good relationship with them; that is my answer.”
The IG directed the Commissioners
of Police in various commands across the country to be involved in the process
of payment of allowances to police personnel on election duty.