HURIWA wants IRT investigated for allegedly recruiting a bandit into NPF

Civil society organization, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has asked the Inspector General of Police and the National Assembly to investigate allegations that a suspected notorious bandit, Muhammadu Sani Dalhatu (a.k.a Abacha), has reportedly resurfaced as a police recruit in Kagarko, Kaduna state as part of the Intelligence Response Team squad from Abuja which arrested and detained two sons of the Emir of Kagarko in Kaduna State.

 According to a press statement on Sunday signed by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the unfolding events in Kagarko underscore the urgent need for transparency and accountability within Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies.

 Responding to the distressing petition filed by Y. C. Maikyau & Co. on behalf of two detained individuals, Mustapha Buhari Aliyu and Aliyu Buhari Aliyu, HURIWA highlighted the gravity of the situation unfolding in Kagarko, Kaduna State. HURIWA has also called for the release of the two sons of the Fulani Emir of Kagarko if the police can’t charge them to court within the lawfully permitted time frame. 

 “The petition outlines alarming allegations of intimidation, harassment, and malicious instigation of arrest against Muhammadu Sani Dalhatu, alias Abacha, a figure with a contentious reputation within the community. According to the petition, Abacha allegedly threatened the father of the Aliyu brothers, prompting forceful and unexplained detention by individuals suspected to be from the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigerian Police Force.

“The petition detailed the sequence of events leading to the brothers’ detention, highlighting the lack of official identification, disclosure of alleged offences, or presentation of warrants by the arresting officers. Despite persistent efforts by legal representatives to secure the release of Mustapha and Aliyu, the police reportedly rebuffed their requests, unjustly labeling the young men as ‘criminal kidnappers.’

“Y. C. Maikyau & Co. emphasized the presumption of innocence and the constitutional right to personal liberty, urging the immediate release of their clients or their fair and prompt trial by due process. Furthermore, the solicitors called for an investigation into Abacha’s purported role as an informant for the IRT Unit of the NPF and demanded either his dismissal or initiation of legal action against him.

“Likewise, the grave complaint lodged by the Kagarko Emirate Council highlighted the alleged alarming activities of Muhammed Sani Dalhatu, also known as Abacha, within Kagarko Local Government Area, Kaduna State.

“According to the Emirate Council’s letter, ‘Abacha’, purportedly an informant for the IRT unit of the Nigerian Police Force, has been implicated in various criminal activities, including kidnapping, attempted assassinations, and gun running. The Emirate Council detailed instances where Abacha allegedly orchestrated kidnappings, participated in banditry, and even attempted to assassinate a senior military officer, sparking serious concerns about security and public safety in the region.

“The Emirate Council’s letter further revealed Abacha’s suspected involvement in the formation of bandit gangs, as well as his use of the IRT identity card as a cover for his illicit activities. Additionally, the letter provided evidence, including video clips and eyewitness testimonies, to substantiate the claims against Abacha. The Emirate Council emphasizes the urgent need for a thorough investigation into Abacha’s actions, calling for his dismissal as an informant and prosecution to ensure peace and security prevail in Kagarko Local Government”, HURIWA narrated.

Echoing concerns for decisive action against ‘Abacha’, stressing the importance of upholding the integrity of the Nigerian Police Force and restoring public trust in law enforcement, HURIWA further raised questions on Abacha’s alleged recruitment into the police force, despite his well-documented alleged criminal background and involvement in heinous activities. The organization called for full transparency regarding his rehabilitation process, qualifications for police enlistment, and the circumstances surrounding his recruitment.

In response to this flagrant violation of due process, HURIWA condemned the refusal of the IRT unit of the Nigerian Police Force to release the detained Fulani youths or provide concrete evidence to substantiate their kidnapping allegations since March 21, 2024. The organization called for strict adherence to due process, urging either the immediate release of the youths or their expeditious arraignment in court to ensure a fair trial and the protection of their fundamental rights.

Furthermore, HURIWA called upon the National Assembly to launch a comprehensive investigation into the alleged recruitment of known criminals into the police force. The organization argued that such an inquiry is indispensable for upholding the integrity of law enforcement agencies and restoring public trust in the security apparatus.

“As the controversy continues to deepen, residents of Kagarko anxiously await justice for the detained youths and demand accountability for those responsible for their unlawful arrest. This case serves as a stark reminder of the imperative to uphold the rule of law and safeguard citizens’ rights in Nigeria’s law enforcement efforts”, HURIWA highlights.

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