The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is saddened and dismayed by the return of CSP James Nwafor of the Nigeria Police Force as the Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (OC/SARS) of the Anambra State Police Command.
According to official records of the Nigeria Police Force, CSP James Nwafor with Force Entry Number AP31343, hails from Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria and was born on 1st January 1961 (55yrs +).
He joined the Nigeria Police Force on 1st April 1983 and was promoted to Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) on 30th January 2013.
He will be due for statutory retirement on 1st April 2018. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) in Public Administration.
CSP James Nwafor disastrously held sway as Officer-in-Charge of Nnewi SARS Annex until 2012 when he took over from CSP Felix Kigigha as OC/SARS Anambra State.
Following routine posting exercise by the NPF, coupled with a barrage of petitions against his atrocious policing activities; CSP James Nwafor was transferred to Bauchi State in early January 2016.
He later worked his way to Enugu, from where he was brought back to Anambra State by Governor Willie Obiano and some rich persons with questionable characters.
CSP James Nwafor fully resumed duty for the second time as Anambra OC/SARS yesterday being 12th of September 2016.
He reportedly worked his way out of Bauchi State barely one month after he was transferred to the State and while in Enugu, two attempts were reportedly made to make him the OC/SARS of Enugu and Delta State Police Commands, respectively, but were strongly resisted by “internal protests”.
A signal from the Force Headquarters making him the second time OC/SARS Anambra State was reportedly given more than two weeks ago but got delayed following similar internal protests and open-source protests by various rights groups.
As the protests were on, a number of kidnap activities took place. They are strongly believed to have been politically motivated to pave way for CSP James Nwafor’s resumption as Anambra OC/SARS.
From overwhelming pieces of testimonial accounts of those who are victims of incessant arrests, long detentions without trial, indiscriminate pre-trial and custodial killings, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments including extortions, disappearances and trumped up charges, of the SARS murderous activities under CSP James Nwafor; the OC/SARS has been labelled by the mainstream human rights community within the State and beyond as Chief Killer & Torturer in the Anambra Killing Fields.
His return to the State for the second time as OC/SARS is a disaster and a grave threat to the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Anambra State particularly the artisan and trading public.
Documented accounts of CSP James Nwafor’s policing atrocities are not only torrential but also mountainous.
We have always maintained and insisted that in combating violent crimes, law enforcement authorities and personnel must ensure at all times that right approaches and laid down procedures are strictly applied; failure of which expressly amount to jungle justice or trial-by-ordeal; a stock-in-trade of policing atrocities.
Combating violent crimes also strictly require using right instruments including ICT-powered intelligence gathering and networking as well as well trained and ICT-compliant personnel and well equipped crime laboratories for the purpose of scientific investigation of crime scenes, crime objects and parties to crime.
Where these are unavailable; crude crime control becomes indiscriminate and riotously applied.
That is to say that the latter has become the stock-in-trade of CSP James Nwafor and his murderous SARS.
It is totally wrong to arrest a citizen unarmed and killed him or her with arm.
Also competent and efficient criminal investigations are a warehouse of criminal and convictable evidence and a passport to speedy trial and conviction.
It is therefore saddening and shocking that out of over 450 serving CSPs in the Nigeria Police Force including those with field and academic expertise in law enforcement, crime prevention and intelligence policing, it is only CSP James Nwafor that is found “competent” to be permanently attached to the Anambra State Police Command as its OC/SARS.
This is after he has served disastrously for over six years as Unit and State OC/SARS in Anambra State with a basketful of atrocities and after over eight years as a police officer in one posting.
As a key partner in the Anambra Project and leading public security and safety advocacy rights group in Nigeria, we are aware that whatever impact made or success recorded in controlling violent crimes in Anambra State did not result from incessancy of torture, long detention without trial, disappearances and pre-trial and custodial killings;
Rather, such an impact or success came as a result of effective intelligence supplied by the Anambra State Directorate of DSS and some hard-working non-combatant under-cover agents or disguised intelligence suppliers or “informants”.
Through ICT-powered Sniffer Programs and Keystroke Loggers, the Anambra DSS has been able to deploy effective and ICT-powered intelligence gathering to unmask the activities of violent criminals.
In addition to these is the use by the DSS of ICT-powered Tracking Machines to interrogate and track electronically suspected kidnappers and other violent criminals’ movements and mobile phone uses, leading to their arrest and hand over to SARS, which routinely tortures and “travels them”.