... the committee is also aimed at advancing community policing which requires active citizens’ participation.
Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Muhammad Dingyadi, has called on Nigerians to always seek redress through appropriate platforms whenever their rights are infringed upon by police personnel.
Dingyadi made the call on Thursday in Calabar while flagging off the sensitisation campaign on Police Public Complaints Committee for the South-South zone.
He said that the committee was set up and inaugurated with a view to promoting good governance and respect for citizens' rights.
According to him, the committee is also aimed at advancing community policing which requires active citizens' participation.
The minister said that the Nigeria Police Force was in dire need of citizens' support, with a view to curbing the myriad of security challenges in the country.
"This committee is a specialised institution established to deal with police infraction. Citizens are expected to seek redress against police personnel.
"The committee is also to bridge the gap between the police and the public in order to create mutual understanding and measures to enhance police service in Nigeria.
"It has a sub-committee of special investigation unit made up of professionals who can handle public complaints creditably," he said.
The minister said that the committee would not handle cases currently in the court of law, those already settled in court, petitions not duly signed by the petitioners and anonymous petitions, among others.
He maintained that report on cases that required punitive sanctions on police officers would be forwarded to the Police Service Commission and the office of the Inspector General of Police for implementation.
Also speaking, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, said that the committee would enhance security provision in the country.
Baba, who was represented by Mr Okunlola Kamaldeen, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Calabar, said that Nigerians ought to see the police as their friends and not enemies.
He urged Nigerians to always avail the police with useful and timely information, when required.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Mr Temitope Fashedemi, described NPF as a responsive force, guided by rules of engagement.
Fashedemi added that the committee had been receiving reports from complainants in other zones and handling same creditably.
A representative of National Youth Council of Nigeria NYCN), Cross River chapter, Mr Joel Henshaw, said that the council would continue to partner with the police for knowledge sharing and information gathering.
In his remarks, Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Cross River, Rev. Fr. Orok Duke, stressed the need for the police to always respect human rights.
Other groups present at the flag-off included: market women, corps members, religious and traditional rulers, and students, among others.