Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Ngozi James

The Independent Investigative Panel on defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other units of the Nigerian Police Force (IIP-SARS), has recommended the dismissal of 25 police officers and prosecution of 28 0fficers.

It would be recalled that the panel was constituted in 2020 after the EndSars protest against human rights violation by police officers. The panel also recommended that 15  officers are subject to disciplinary actions including 4 others whose ranks would be reduced by relevant authorities.

Hillary Ogbonna, Secretary of the panel, disclosed this during the submission of its final report to the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), on Tuesday.

According to the secretary, N438,884, 094 has been paid to about 100 petitioners.

The panel considered 295 petitions from 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory and they all bordered on rights violation including illegal arrests and detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The top 10 states from where petitioners came from were FCT (123), Delta(19), Lagos(15), Anambra (13), Benue(9), Nassarawa (9), Imo (8), Rivers (7), Enugu (5), while Kaduna, Cross River had 5.

From fact sheets of the report obtained by our Correspondent, the panel fully decided 95 petitions.

Ogbonna said 54 petitions were withdrawn because the panel could not verify peoples allegations that the police was after them.

Some withdrew theirs because they wanted their petitions to be heard in their states while others abandoned their petitions.

33 petitions were struck out partly as a result of being out of the scope of the panel, and also for lack of diligent prosecution.

“57 petitions were referred to the NHRC while 56 were related to Judgement debt.

The chairman of the panel, Retd Suleiman Galadima, appreciated stakeholders for successful completion of well over 200 petitions.

“We hope that federal government will implement the report,” he said.

He also said that the report highlighted banks, and other parties’ involvement in rights violation.

Upon receiving the report, the NHRC Executive Secretary ,Tony Ojukwu said the Commission will continue fighting to banish impunity from the country.

He said implementation of the report lies within the purview of Attorney-General of the Federation, Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force

Ojukwu said aside compensation to victims, there is still the need to hold the indicted police officers accountable.

He added that the Commission will do what is required to ensure that the report is implemented.

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