Friday, 30 October, 2020

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Police Brutality: Presidential Panel directs IGP to unravel identity of 22 ex-SARS officers


A report of Presidential Panel on Reform of SARS has directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of 22 officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens. The Panel also recommended 37 police officers for dismissal and 24 were recommended for prosecution.

The Police Service Commission on Friday, October 16th 2020 met with the National Human Rights Commission and promised to speed up action on the implementation of the Report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The National Human Rights Commission team led by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu was in the Police Service Commission to formally present the 2018 Report of the Presidential Panel and to solicit the PSC support in the implementation of the aspects of the Report covered by PSC constitutional mandate. The Presidential Panel had among other things investigated allegations of human rights violations and abuse of office against SARS and recommended reform or restructuring of the outfit. Receiving the delegation, PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith, retired Inspector General of Police, said the PSC will collaborate and support the Human Rights Commission in the promotion of good governance.

He, however, said that for effective reform of the much maligned SARS, there must be a deliberate effort to select capable, professional and credible people to replace the disbanded outfit. The selected Officers, he added, must be properly trained and exposed to regular training. Smith said there must also be close supervision of the newly selected Officers so that the nation will not experience the rot that became the fate of the disbanded unit. Any misconduct,  he noted, should be severely and promptly handled”. He, however, said the government should show more concern to the funding of its vital Agencies as these Agencies need funds to do their job. He also made a case for proper and ‘living accommodation for the Officers of the Nigeria Police, stressing that these Officers need good accommodation to put in their best. The Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission told the PSC Chairman that PSC has all it takes to deal appropriately with the Report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS). “We have come to see a PSC determined to play a leading role in the reform of the Nigeria Police Force”, he said. Ojukwu said the reform is the most topical issue in the country today, adding that a lot is expected from the PSC. He noted that the Panel called for and received 113 complaints on alleged human rights violations from across the country and 22 memoranda on suggestions on how to reform and restructure SARS and the Nigeria Police in general. A copy of the Report was thereafter presented to the Commission.

Credit: Vanguard

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