Police are mandated to ensure the safety of its citizens in a country, and reports by Pulse.ng says, some of the women who were arrested by officers of the Abuja Command of the Nigeria Police Force have given their statement while in police custody and alleged that, they were maltreated by the Police.
Just this week, unhappy Nigerians expressed outrage over the recent arrest of dozens of women during raids on nightclubs by a Joint Task Force.
According to some of the women who were in Police custody, at Utako Police Station a number of them where allegedly beaten and sexually assaulted by the Police.
The command explained that, the women were arrested because they were hanging around nightclubs, while the Public Relations Officer of the Social Development Secretariat of the FCTA, Sunday Shaka, said some of them were arrested for provocative dressing, consumption of illegal drugs and attracting criminal elements.
In a press conference held in Abuja Nigeria Yesterday, May 2, 2019, seven women who were convicted by a mobile court for prostitution narrated how they were unfairly arrested, assaulted and even raped by law enforcement officers. They all spoke anonymously with their backs turned to the press.
One of them told journalists how she was arrested while attending a birthday party in a hotel and was later compelled to plead guilty of prostitution before the court.
“They were telling us that we should be pleading that we’re guilty. That if we don’t plead that we’re guilty, they’d take us directly to prison. That nobody would be able to save us or bail us out,” she said.
A woman also revealed that, she was raped by policemen attached to the FCT task force because she could not pay them to regain her freedom.
A statement by three women says, “Three of us were brought out of the van and raped by the policemen because we had no money to give them. We were raped behind the National War College, Abuja.
“They pushed me to the ground and held me there while one of them raped me. He didn’t wear a condom. The other girls were also raped by two others, one of who used a pure water sachet as condom,” she said.
Another one of the women reported that officers freed another woman after she succumbed to their demand to allow them fondle her breasts in exchange for her freedom.
The women called on the government to stop the task force from raiding clubs in the capital city to arrest and molest girls. They said girls are regularly extorted by officers and task force officials and threatened with conviction in court.
While speaking on Wednesday, Shaka dismissed the reports that the women were sexually assaulted by law enforcement officials, but he said investigations are underway.
“This accusation is already being investigated. Our team is well trained and they have been warned against such an act. They are all aware that if any of them is caught to have abused these persons, such a person will be dismissed and prosecuted,” he said.