Why we shot suspected kidnappers in their genitals — Nigerian Police

I-G meets with Commissioners of Police in Abuja
Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

The police have acknowledged the authenticity of an internet video that shows suspected kidnappers writhing at the back of a police van and struggling to breathe after being shot in their private parts by officers.

The police said the suspects were the first to fire at officers attached to the Intelligence Response Team when they attempted to free an abducted victim in Abia State last week.

“In the course of the shootout, some of the kidnappers sustained injuries and were overpowered,” Abia police spokesperson, Geoffrey Ogbonna, told PREMIUM TIMES in response to an enquiry about the video which was obtained by Sahara Reporters.

Mr. Ogbonna, a deputy superintendent of police, put the number of the suspects at ‘over seven’ and vaguely identified the victim as a 76-year-old man with a history of hypertension.

The victim was rescued but later died at the hospital, having allegedly been tortured by the kidnappers in their den, Mr. Ogbonna said.

The officers recovered AK-47 guns, ammunition and three vehicles from the suspects.

The video is believed to have been shot on December 11 or 12. Sahara Reporters published it Thursday night to an outraged audience.

Some officers surrounded a truck marked as belonging to the police in Abia State and in which the suspected had been crammed.

“You wan turn millionaire overnight, bah?” an officer asked rhetorically in Nigerian Pidgin. “You want to get rich quick.”

“This one wants to die,” another voice said in an apparent interjection. “Na death e dey wait for like this; e dey struggle the thing.”

The Nigerian police have for years faced persistent allegations of human rights abuses, and the new video could strengthen the poor public perception of the force.

The Human Rights Watch found in 2007 that Nigeria police officers killed more than 10,000 citizens within seven years, a figure it said was conservative.

Mr. Ogbonna evaded PREMIUM TIMES’ questions about why the officers shot the suspects in the testicles after overpowering them as reported by Sahara Reporters.

He also could not defend the snide remarks the officers uttered to the wounded suspects.

He also did not say how many of the suspects died —if at all— and whether those seriously wounded where receiving medical care.

The footage surfaces amidst growing anger against the police which stemmed from widespread allegations rights abuses, extra-judicial killings and robbery attacks against citizens by officers.

Although most of the claims are directed against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which is a separate unit from the Intelligence Response Team that carried out the latest operation, rights activists see the gruesome shooting as common amongst all police officers.

“This is a clear case of torture and extra-judicial execution,” said Okechukwu Nwanguma of the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, NOPRIN.

Mr. Nwanguma decried the unimaginable level of atrocities being allegedly perpetrated by police officers every day in Nigeria, considering that most of the gruesome abuses and execution hardly make it to the public domain.

“The duty of the police is to arrest, investigate and produce accused persons to court for fair trial,” Mr. Nwanguma said. “Executing crime suspects extra-judicially is both unlawful and criminal.”

He called on the police leadership and the Nigerian government to pursue a lasting solution to the horrific activities of officers before it is too late.

“The case underscores the need for the police hierarchy to demonstrate that they are serious about their promise to reform the institution,” said Mr. Nwanguma, whose organisation has tracked numerous cases of abuses by the police for many years.

“Part of this reform would be to bring officers responsible for this and similar egregious violations to a public trial in order to send out a clear message that the police as an institution does not tolerate human rights atrocities,” he added.


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  • emmanuel

    This is a government of foolani herdsmen. They care less about Nigeria constitution. They can draw $1 billion on the authority of Governors who are not recognised to authorise un-budgetted votes.
    Anyone who vote a herdsman into power has murdered sleep.
    Unfortunately, if the Police that shot the kidnappers are herdsmen, they will be set free, but would undergo orderly court marshall id they are not.
    A month ago, some foolani villagers killed seven Mopol in Adamawa and the case died. If that happened in the South, or among the Indigenous people of the North, that village would have been razed down by the Police.

    • Julius

      Remember the dead bodies of your people that were found flowing down the river when Jonathan was the president and Peter Obi was the governor ? By the way, did you all ever found out what happened after your usual rant, rave and threats ? I was in here cursing the police not Jonathan or Obi. Was it the government of the herdsmen then ? !The police that did this should be arrested , prosecuted and jailed…period !

      • Daniel A Istifanus

        Which police officer should be arrested? Honestly,you are not serious.Are you a rightful thinking members of the society?if is joke stop it ooo!is only in Nigeria that people like you are celebrating criminals on the daily basis, encouraging them to take armed against police officer or other security personnel for a reason best know to your class.were you rational enough to ask yourself this bitter truth that,if paraventual the gun battle they encounter with the kidnappers happened that a police man died on the process (God forbid); will you do anything better to bring the person back to life?do you think the people who sacrifice their lives for me and you to sleep don’t have wife, children,relation? how much is their take home Pay?how much did FG used to pay families of those who died on active duty?if you have never encountered criminals on their illegal duty,pray you should not ooo? If left alone for me,they should be doing like President Durterte of Philippines.

        • Holy truth

          Oga u dey vex? I feel u seriously, anyone who had ever encountered dis armed robbers or kidnappers will not have one single pity on dis criminals.

          • whereto

            If person get liver carry gun shoot police and police shoot am back, me no fit complain.
            I only complain when the police run away like they used to do.

        • Julius

          Sir, the police are not Judge and the Jury. There job is to arrest and present criminals to the prosecutors and let the justice be done. No, they are not to be killing folks because they think dem be criminals…Yes, they do have the right to protect themselves but that does not justify laughing at somebody they shot and in their custody. That’s not justice, that’s barbaric. I doubt if you really like that thug Durte if you really care for justice.

  • Rev

    Wow Nigerian police…Every organ of the Nigerian state is rotten. By why?

    • Daniel A Istifanus

      The answer is this did you ever encountered these types of people?if you do then you will know the answer to your why.

  • Ayo

    Human rights abuses and impunity have for eternity been part of the Nyja state.From the bar beach shows of the 70s to Operation Sweep of the 90s and the current Kill and Goes called MOPOLs. Like corruption, it is part of Nyja DNA.and will not go away. Bad habits never die as long as victims are not big men or big men’s children.

  • Dan Van Blocker

    Human rights abuse ke? President Duterte of the Philippines advertises his own everyday. Nothing has happened.

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      EVERY DAY FOR THE THIEF…….

  • Steve

    Even if the suspects deserved a death sentence, this barbaric and dastardly inhuman torture is certainly not how to go about it. This just scores nigerian police an all time low in human rights violations. Well what do you expect from a bunch of low life illiterates who are usually worst than the criminals.

    • Rev

      Did you not hear that the Nigerian police was adjudged the worse in the World by a global body?

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    This administration has advanced to a new low in the art of human degradation. this police force will answer for their crimes if they do not fish out the culprits and punish them.. EVERY SUSPECT HAS THE RIGHT TO THE DUE PROCESS OF LAW NO MATTER HOW HEINOUS THE OFFENCE IS.

    • Holy truth

      So what u are saying now is dat next time when police are called to tackle armed robbers or kidnappers dey should go with baton & tear while d armed robbers or kidnappers are armed to teeth with sophisticated weapons. There was gun battle btw police & robbers or kidnappers as a result one was hit at his private part so be it. What about police dat had killed by all dis criminals in d past, were dey not human beings dat has rights to live? Pls I expect dat u attack d police constructively, but u aren’t at all.

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        bloody lie, it does not add up, there is no way they exchanged fire and the police hit four men in the penis and testicles alone….tell that to the dogs.Meanwhile the whole cover story is amaturish, the police cannot lie about this because the pictures tell the story.

        • whereto

          Now you are spoiling things. You were on a roll so don’t deviate o. It’s Buhari who called the police and told them what to do in the Hausa language…..

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            The Buhari affinity towards gross human rights infringement is not in dispute. Have you everheard him condemn the serial violations of human rights on his watch. Have you ever heard that he ordered an enqiiry ? The man rather protects killers .

      • Adesola

        This govt should take the issues of improving the economy as paramount so that these young energetic Nigerians will be engaged in reproductive activities. The rate of unemployment is too high, illiteracy is on the increase, population exploding, sharp drop in moral and religious values. There is frustration and desperation all over. Evil has engulfed larger part of our society, the fruits of long years of neglect and failure to plan is manifesting. We are all caught in this web that we call different names: corruption, kidnapping, adoption, terrorism, insurgency, communal clashes, prostitution, trans Sahara economic migration, 419, yahoo- yahoo, baby mama, divorce, sodomy etc. May God give our leaders sincere hearts and citizens repentant hearts to minimize these atrocities. Merry Christmas and prosperous new year in advance folks.

  • Gary

    A few weeks ago, a report adjudged the Nigerian Police as the worst in the world. The NPF and its apologists reacted with outrage.
    Well, here’s incontrovertible proof. “By their fruits shall you know them”.

    Now Magu is following in similar tack by sending his men in the EFCC to act as hired guns on behalf of a bank embroiled in a business dispute that is already before the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
    Under Muhammadu Buhari, we have the Police led by an incompetent lecher and the EFCC led by a loose cannon twice rejected for confirmation.
    Welcome to law and order, Buhari-style. And he expects to be re-elected for four more years of this nonsense.

  • Holy truth

    Armed robbers or kidnappers had killed police & injured police in uncountable numbers of times, do we call dat xtra judicial killing when dat happens? Or d police dat had been killed during gun battles with dis armed robbers or kidnappers were not human dat has rights to live?
    I’m quite sure dat anyone including d human rights fighters who had had encounters with dis robbers or kidnappers will know dat dis guys are just too mean. Just dis weeks a seven months old baby was kidnapped 4rm his mother by some kidnappers, few months ago a British missionary died during gun battle btw police & kidnappers. Let’s not 4get so how Evans was terrorising citizens on d streets, d list goes on & on. Shooting of one of dis kidnappers in d private part would definitely be as a result of d gun battle btw police & d kidnappers.
    I won’t blame police on dis case. Do u know how many lives of innocent souls dis armed robbers or kidnappers have wasted? If any armed robbers or kidnappers are killed so be it, let dem taste 4rm d bitterness dey give to innocent pple.

    • Zygote

      I agree the kidnappers are evil, but shooting of people’s private part by the police after arrest is purely callous and equally evil at best. You cant tell me that all the kidnappers were shot in their penis by accident. Every criminal deserve his day in competent court of law.

      • Holy truth

        Sir, I pray u don’t experience dis pple. One of dem was shot as a result of gun battle btw dem & police then he was hit at d wrong place dis wasn’t police fault. Oga mi, d kidnappers are too mean sir. Do u know how many families dey had rendered fatherless & motherless? Once again I pray sir dat u don’t encounter dem, there too mean. In some cases dey kidnap & killed d victim & dey will still collect ransom 4rm d family of d victim. Dey don’t deserve mercy.

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          Nigeria is not the only country were kidnapping occurs so do not justify evil with evil , it will not work. THE LAWS OF THE LAND MUST BE FOLLOWED IN THE DISPENSATION OF JUSTICE .

          • segunelusakin

            Maybe you should go join the police, then go to these kidnappers with baton and couple of handcuffs

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            THE POLICE MUST ABIDE BY THE CONSTITUTION …QED

      • Quency Olajide Oyegoke

        Thdy could be shot in the anus I think?

      • whereto

        I hope you also read from Evans how some incarcerated kidnap kingpins were still controlling their gangs from prison. The judicial system needs to be of more help.

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      YOU RELEASE BOKO-HARAM TERRORISTS WHO YOU CLAIM ARE REHABLITATED BACK TO SOCIETY AND FULANI HERDSMEN ARE NEVER ARRESTED SO YOU MUST AT LEAST FOLLOW THE RULE OF LAW AND BRING THESE KIDNAPPERS TO TRIAL……THEY WERE TREATED LIKE THAT BECAUSE THEY ARE IGBOS .QED

      • Holy truth

        I don’t give a toss if u are Yoruba, ibo or hausa, efik or 4rm wherever. If u are caught up in any bad or acts whatever comes out of it u called 4 it. Don’t divert d discussion into ethnic discussion. Focus on d subject above, must everything be Yoruba, ibo, hausa brouhaha?

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          Yes, you must give a toss because the present regime led by Muhammadu Buhari is the most tribally and religiously bigoted in the history of Nigeria. Every few months one grotesque video of extreme human degradation emerges and it is always Igbos being tortured . There is a conspiracy to carry out these crimes without consequences hence NO IGBO PERSON IN THE SECURITY APPARATUS LEADERSHIP. THIS REGIME CAN PLAN THE GENOCIDE OF IGBOS AND CARRY IT OUT SECRETLY.

          • Holy truth

            Like I said to u don’t bring up ethnicity issues on dis issue above. If u have problems with Buhari & his govt sort urself out with him, dis hasn’t got to do with subject above. I haven’t got d time discussing who hates who. If u feel hated by Buhari & his govt take ur case to UN. If u voted him d first time don’t vote him again in protest. Stop dis ethnicity blah blah blah.

          • segunelusakin

            You very right, Buhari ordered the Igbo police to kill Igbo criminals, and all the South-South terrorists. You’re quite logical, and intelligent

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            THE KILLERS ARE NORTHERNERS FOR YOUR INFORMATION.

          • segunelusakin

            All the police officers who went for anti-kidnap operation were all Hausa. This guy is the smartest guy alive, let’s all clap him

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            YES, ALMOST ALL SARS OPERATING IN IGBOLAND ARE NORTHERN MUSLIMS WHO HARDLY SPEAK ENGLISH. THAT IS WHY IGBOS SUSPECT A CONSPIRACY.

        • Jaco Ik

          Good reply bro. May u leave longer than what u want to leave

          • Holy truth

            Amen & u too sir. Thanks.

    • Anthony Mark

      You mentioned Evans, is Evans not facing trial? PT reported that the police could not defend why those guys were shot on their private part after over powering them. Why will you go ahead and shoot them on their private part when you have captured them. What happen to rule of law? That is inhumane.
      They are suspected kidnappers.

      • Holy truth

        What if in d course of trying to arrest dem gun battles ensued & bullets caught d criminals in d private part or perhaps kills dem in d course of gun battle, what about dat sir.
        Oga mi don’t take it personal, I’m in support of d rules of laws, but when d situations get to d level of gun battles btw police & criminals anything can happen. Sometimes stray bullets kills innocent passers-by what do u say about dat sir.

        • Kingsonwuamaeze

          You are making a point but for the shoot out to catch not one person but two , two or three on their private parts cannot be coincidence. Jungle justice by our law enforcement agencies should not be encouraged

          • Holy truth

            My brother agreed dat jungle justice isn’t good, but what do u call it when dis criminals kills their victims or police? City or town justice?

          • whereto

            I tire for many Nigerians o. We like to compare ourselves to USA but conveniently forget the facilities available and operating conditions are not similar. I will like to see anyone engage the Russian police in a gun fight and then comeback and tell us how nice and professional they were afterwards!
            Whatever happened obviously happened in the heat of the moment. But trust many of us to discard the victim and the success recorded by the police and focus on the negative.

          • Holy truth

            Oga mi na so me self tire O when I see some pple comments here o.

        • sab

          Watch the video n Saharareporters. Then read the PT story again then post your comment. Yes criminals should be dealt with. But what is the rationale in shooting them after arresting them? By so doing you destroy sources of ibformation about their gang members, who may have contracted them, their sources of weapinry etc.

          • Holy truth

            Dis criminals too kidnapped there victim & d victim died, dey went ahead collected millions of naira in ransom. What wickedness is more than dat. D victim was somebody’s father, husband & uncle. Do u realise dat sir?

      • Constant

        Are your family linage anointed for armed banditry? Actually, everything about you is suggestive of a terrorism. God forbid this your character…… .
        Kidnapping is a witchcraft network that is aided by family members of the kidnappers and the kidnapped.
        All of them should be executed at the same time including their wives and children, no matter how they claimed ignorant of the kidnapping deal.
        That’s one of ways the evil business can be reduced to the barest minimum. Alternatively, their internal organs can removed and reserved for transplant to patient that had the need instead of travelling to India.

      • Daniel A Istifanus

        You try by saying rule of law.Anyway, you never become victim and pray not to be or any of your relation fall victim of either side be it security personnel that were killed by these devil possess agent at the course of discharging his lawful duty or been kidnapped then you will talk of romancing the matter with rule of law.Let me tell you,hard way is the only way and in case you didn’t heard it before,there is rule by law NOT only rule of law exist you understand? for your info,it takes a jungle justice to settled a jungle battle.He who no go no go know!

    • Rasta

      So robber have laws governing their operations, wait till you become a victim which would be very soon then you would know that police brutality and extra judicial killings is not a child’s play

      • Holy truth

        So d victim’s life dat was lost na goat’s one or chicken? D criminals called 4 it dey got it served real hot, case close. Dat prayer will not work bcos I’m not a criminal but be4 it goes cold I send it back to sender.

      • Quency Olajide Oyegoke

        Are you a kidnapper?

    • objective

      The main reason why extrajudicial killings are discouraged all over the world, is to forestall the killing of innocent people. There is no room for comparison between Police and Kidnappers. Policemen are governed by laws and conventions. Unfortunately one of the requirements for being recruited into the police this days, is that you must have been fraustrated.

  • Quency Olajide Oyegoke

    “The duty of the police is to arrest, investigate and produce accused persons to court for fair trial. Executing crime suspects extra-judicially is both unlawful and criminal”. So it is the duty of kidnappers to kill and maim their victims? Only those who have not experienced kidnapping will buy the above rhetorics.

  • objective

    I don’t ever believe a thing that police says. State Policing is the answer to this crudity and wickedness. If you choose to murder your own people whilst working in your state, then your people will know you are a murderer and not only that, they will also identify your children and family as such; that way your generations continue to pay for your misdeeds.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    Thank you very much, Mr Ogbonna, for your story on this matter. You are one of the truthful police officers in Nigeria. In fact, your story has added value and ammunition to the fiery agitation for the scrapping of the SARS. Does anyone have further reason for not wanting the demise of this devilish arm of the Police? What we see here is a perfect replay of the Gestapo activities in long-gone Hitler’s Nazi regime; an exact copy, an exact replica of the Gestapo activities. And these neo-Gestapo operatives function under what we now call a Nigerian Government! If the present SARS are compared to, and truly so, to the Gestapo of Hitler’s time, what then would one call the present Nigerian Government? You do the simple math and draw your own conclusion.

    And our dear senior police officer, Ogbonna, justified a case where a criminal was overpowered and then the police officer turned round to shoot the criminal on their scrotum, blowing off his testicles! And that, to every police officer, is or was the best course of action! If the Nigeria Police can come out again and tell the public, as Ogbonna has done, that there is an extant law in the Nigerian statute books that empowers a police officer to do what had happened here, then ALL CIVILIANS would hands off the current agitation for the demise of SARS and move over to the National Assembly to demand why such brutal and Gestapo-type laws exist in Nigeria. But, if not, then the Nigeria Police hierarchy would be remiss or irresponsible letting these satanic police officers off the hook. I suggest that the first thing to be done to these police officers will be to assemble them and shoot them also on the scrotum, blowing off their testicles, while the agitation for the scrapping and dismantling of the SARS continues.

    • Justmyopinion

      Nigerians sha! Well, my comment is those who feel the police are being too brutal on criminals caught in the very act should do the following:

      1. Allow themselves have a taste of criminal assault and feel what it means to be victimised (including those legal practioners who defend them).
      2. Join the Nigeria Police, and request to be assigned to face the dangerous world of criminals.

      3. Visit a court room sitting where an actual dare-devil criminal is discharged and acquitted for lack of convincing evidence provided by the plantiff.

      In as much as i am not in any way in support of injustice, i think it is rather wishful thinking to expect the Nigeria Police to handle criminals in Nigeria with dignity in the name of human right – Only God has that ability. Criminals are mostly viscious and most of the time deadly. If you have ever been robbed or suffered and attempt on your life or that of your loved ones; if you have ever had your car stolen; if ever you have been to the den of kidnappers or ritual killers; or perhaps have been nearly lynched by the baddo cult. I mean if a relative, friend, colleague etc has been suddenly become widows/widowers over night, then you are qualified to debate on this issue. But if not , then i suggest we rather talk about how to better equip the police for effective service delivery. By the way, i have expressed my thoughts without insulting anyone because i am cultured and reasonable. If anyone has opposing views, it is normal i respect your views so no need using curse words simply because you don’t agree with mine.

  • trouble

    Even though i dont like the way our police treat suspects, but with the amount of torture & inhumane treatment kidnappers met out to their victims, nobody will shed a tear for whatever happens to them when caught.

  • Elijah David

    Do you call a kidnapper citizen?If he is a citizen, what are his duties and responsibilities to his nation and other citizens. We should think of a better thing to say not at where he was shot.. If it should have been a police officer that was shot at his genital,will anyone talk?

  • tsunami1earthquake

    It is very surprising and disheartening that some people here are supporting what the police SARS did! In other words, they support the lawlessness of the police SARS. Yes, the alleged kidnappers and whatever they had done was an act of lawlessness. But the police SARS cannot go out of its way to exercise also an act of lawlessness in dealing with criminals. What some people are saying here is that any lawbreaker should just be subjected to jungle justice as the SARS had done in this story!

    I do hope nobody supports jungle justice, otherwise the entire society would become a chaotic environment where you either kill or get killed. The laws have been established to prevent this kind of Somali-like situation.

    The police SARS operatives were wrong in whatever they did. Period!

    • Quency Olajide Oyegoke

      Why dont you go and join police so that you can be romancing the criminals? You just sit down there and be postulating rubbish.

      • perryy

        Don’t mind the bloody kidnapper and armed robber . If I join the police, I will kill any criminal in sight. Spare no bastard.

        • Benny Obioma

          What of the politicians who have kidnapped our pockets and turned most of us to zombies? Should they not be treated worse? For me the politicians that steal billions of dollars and naira of our money should be treated worse than these miscreants. These kidnappers torture individuals but the politicians torture masses. I’m sorry if you misunderstand me.

    • whereto

      Oga, read the story again and properly this time. This incident involved the IRT and not SARS. At the rate some of you are going with your agenda, the entire police force will have to be scrapped. Perhaps then, you will recall bakassi boys or get tompolo to handle security.
      Wherever you look in this world , if you engage the police in a shootout and lose, a lot of bad things can happen in the heat of the moment.
      My heart only goes out to the victim and his family. The poor 76years old man was sadly not allowed to conclude his life in peace.

  • suli559

    I think they’re supposed to dip these kidnappers and criminals in bubbling hot boiling water every hour until they finally die from the pain. In fact they should starve them and feed them their own body parts for all I care. Keep it up, make them suffer

  • soulchild

    All you dreamers yarning dust here that this is police brutality, are all talking trash. If you have ever encountered these spawn of Satan or had anyone you know kidnapped, you’ll pray daily that once they are caught red handed they should be dispatched post haste to meet their maker. I have many sad stories, to tell but the most sad and tear jerking is that of a family friend that was abducted with his wife by “Vampire” of course after killing the driver and police guard (he had one because he was the king of his village). His wife died during the ordeal and the worst of it is that the spawns of Satan buried her in an unknown location in a dense forest, so that even when the man was rescued her corpse was never recovered and she could not be given a befitting burial. His family and friends (including me) were never the same afterwards. The day “Vampire” was killed was one of the best days of my life.

    In conclusion once they are caught in the act, KILL THEM ALL!!!!