Canadian court slams Nigerian police force as murderous, corrupt; denies ex-MOPOL sergeant asylum
The Nigeria Police Force’s involvement in extrajudicial killings, torture, summary executions of suspects in custody, amongst other gruesome human rights abuses, is “overwhelming”, a federal court in Ottawa, Canada, said in denying asylum t, a former operative of the notorious MOPOL unit.
The conclusion came after he sought a judicial review of the North American country’s immigration department that denied him asylum for his possible involvement in crimes while he served as a police officer in Nigeria, according to court documents seen by news men
Judge Patrick Gleeson held that any Nigerian who willingly joins the Nigeria Police Force will be guilty by association before the Canadian judicial system and the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, notwithstanding whether or not the person committed gruesome crimes often associated with the NPF.
The judge hinged his decision on the landmark 2013 case of former Congolese representative to UN Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola, in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that anyone who knowingly participates in an organisation or regime linked to crimes against humanity will not receive protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention.
The ruling came months after Nigerian soldiers opened fire on protesters who were participating in the #EndSARS campaign to end police brutality in Nigeria, killing at least nine civilians in an operation said to have been authorised by Presidency. Days after the Lekki killings, some Nigerian soldiers were killed in a mysterious operation that the Nigerian Army has failed to publicly acknowledge or explain.
He joined the Nigerian police in 2001 and served 17 years before fleeing Nigeria in March 2018 on the grounds that he was being sought by members of a cult gang that he had investigated for homicide in 2016. He claimed to have received several phone calls and his house was burnt in 2017.
Documents seen by news men said left Nigeria for the United States on March 5, 2018. He arrived in Canada on June 6, 2018, and subsequently filed a claim for refugee protection.
Having conducted some findings about his service in the Nigeria Police Force, the Canadian immigration department denied him asylum for evidence showing his involvement in the crimes against humanity.
Although the former police sergeant contended that the decision was “unreasonable” and denied his complicity in the crimes, Canadian authorities noted that it was unlikely that he did not know of widespread crimes perpetrated by the Nigerian police.