#EndSARS: NHRC to set up independent investigation panel on SARS

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said it will set up an independent investigation panel to look into human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other segments of the Nigerian Police within the next one week.

The Assistant Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision was taken on Monday at a Multi-Stakeholders’ Forum (MSF) in Abuja organised by the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu as a follow-up to the recent disbandment of SARS by the IGP.

Against the foregoing, Ojukwu said, an open call for memoranda from members of the public whose rights have been violated by the defunct SARS and other segments of the Police will be released by the Commission within a week.

The NHRC boss further disclosed that the Forum, “Recommends the psychological evaluation, training and retraining of disbanded SARS officials prior to re-deployment, that the Police boss should order all State Police Commands to halt the use of force against protesters and to release arrested protesters and citizens unconditionally.

The Forum, according to him, resolved to set up Technical Committees, to be supported by the NHRC and other Civil Society Organisations to design the roadmap and a work plan for the implementation of the White Paper of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of SARS.

The Forum affirmed that reform proposals for the Nigerian Police Force will be based on Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and existing legislations such as the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act, 2019, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, The National Human Rights Commission Act, 2010 amongst others.

It also affirmed that the five-point demands of the protesters and the EndSARS movement which bothers on giving justice to victims of SARS brutality and improved working conditions for police personnel are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the government.

 

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