#EndSARS: NHRC constitutes 11-man panel to investigate rights’ violation, allegations against police

In line with the mandate of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and in response to the nationwide agitations by some Nigerian youth groups under the auspices of #EndSARS, the NHRC has constituted an 11-man Independent Investigative Panel (IIP) to look into allegations of human rights violations against the defunct SARS and other units of the force.

The committee, according to a statement by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, is headed by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima.

She said the Committee will hear petitions, complaints and memoranda from Nigerians across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT and thereafter make recommendations to the federal government on how best to reform SARS and other units of the Police force.

The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu said the terms of reference of the Panel include, investigate all complaints of human rights violations against SARS and other units of the Police force, make appropriate recommendations as per the damages and compensations to be paid to the victims of Police brutality.

Besides, the Panel is given the powers to refer any matter, in the course of their assignment to the Attorney General of the Federation, or that of a State for prosecution in accordance with the law.

The panel is empowered as well to make recommendations to government on measures to be taken in respect of operatives of defunct SARS or officers of the Nigerian Police Force, if any, found in violation of human rights of citizens and propose remedial steps that may enhance the professional conduct of defunct SARS operatives, any succeeding unit and other members of the Nigerian Police Force and any other recommendations that may be considered appropriate.

Other members of the Panel are, Abdulrahaman Yakubu, Yemi Ademolakun, Chioma Chuka, Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa, Tijani Mohammed, Dr. Uju Agomoh, DIG Ibrahim Lamorde, Dr. Garba Tetengi, (SAN), Feyikemi Abudu, John Aikpokpo Martins and Hilary Ogbonna as Secretary of the Panel.

Ojukwu further disclosed that all petitions, complaints and memoranda must reach the Commission, which is the Secretariat of the Panel on or before 31 October, 2020.

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