President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of state and local government police, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission and Chairman Presidential Panel on SARS Reform, Anthony Ojukwu, said on Monday.
The President also approved the dismissal of 37 police officers as recommended by the National Human Rights Commission Presidential Special Panel on SARS Reforms.
Speaking during the submission of the report of the Presidential Panel on the reform of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ojukwu said the panel 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.
He said, “At the end of its public hearing and having listened to complaints as well as defendants and their counsel, the Panel recommended thirty-seven (37) Police ofﬁcers for dismissal from the force. Twenty four (24) were recommended for prosecution.
”The panel also directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of twenty-two (22) ofﬁcers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent Citizens.
“The police was directed to pay compensation of various sums in forty—ﬁve (45) complaints and tender public apologies in ﬁve (5) complaints and directed to obey court orders in ﬁve (5) matters.
“The Police was directed to immediately arrest and prosecute two (2) retired senior Police ofﬁcers found to have violated the rights of citizens (one for extra-judicial killing and the other for illegal takeover of Property of a suspect). The Panel also recovered two vehicles illegally auctioned by SARS Ofﬁcers and returned them to their owners.”
Some other key recommendations of the panel include “signiﬁcant improvement in the funding, kitting and facilities of the Nigeria Police Force; strengthening information and communication technology of the Force; and the establishment of state and local government police.”
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