(JUST IN): #EndSARS: Investigation panel recommends dismissal of 25 personnel, 28 others for prosecution

After two years of its inauguration, the Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations Against SARS and other Units of the Nigerian Police submitted its report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday.

The panel found 72 police personnel guilty of the allegations levelled against them and 28 of them were recommended for prosecution, 25 for dismissal, 15 for disciplinary actions and four police Personnel are recommended for the reduction of their ranks.

Presenting the report to the National Human Rights Commission, the chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, said the panel entertained over 200 petitions from 29 states since its inauguration.

While calling on the Federal Government to take a critical view of the report with a view to implementing its recommendations, Justice Suleiman called on the National Human Rights Commission to harmonize all the various reports submitted to it for further transmission to the Federal Government for implementation.

Earlier in his speech, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Chief Tony Ojukwu (SAN) said the Commission will not rest on its oars until impunity is completely banished from the country, adding also that the commission will ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the panel.

Ojukwu said payment of compensation is one step on the road to Justice and holding indicted officers of the Nigerian Police accountable for the violation of the rights of the people is another thing.

“ I welcome the decisions and indictments issued by the Justice Galadima panel and I want to assure Nigerians and the victims and their families that the National Human Rights Commission will do everything possible to ensure that the decisions are implemented.

“We will work with the Police, relevant committees of the National Assembly, civil society and development partners to implement the panel’s recommendations on police reforms to ensure effectiveness and human right centred policing”, the NHRC boss added and added that the efforts of the Nigerian youths during the END SARS protest will not be in vain.

Presenting the fact sheets of the report, the Secretary of the panel, Mr Hillary Ogbonna said the panel was set up two years ago, following the brutality of Nigerian youths during the END SARS protest.

He said the committee received 295 petitions on police brutality from 29 states of the Federation with Abuja having the highest number with 123 petitions.

According to Ogbonna, the subject matter of the petitions are wrongful demotion, extortion, police harassment and intimidation, unlawful seizure of property, disobedience to a court order, denial of access to Justice, abuse of office and enforced disappearance.

Other areas are a threat to life, unlawful arrest and detention, non-payment of judgement sum, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and violation of the right to life.

Hillary said a total sum of N438, 884, 094 has been paid to victims of police brutality, even as he disclosed that 54 petitions brought before the panel were withdrawn due to harassment, intimidation and threat to life on victims by the police.

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