The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has insisted that it would set up an independent investigation panel to look into human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARs along with other segments of the Nigerian Police.
The Rights body stated that the panel will be structured within seven days.
According to a statement signed by its Assistant Director Public Affairs, Fatimah Mohammed, NHRC took the decision on Monday, at a Multi-Stakeholders’ Forum (MSF) that was organised by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, as a follow-up to the recent disbandment of SARS by the IGP.
The body also stated that 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, would be released by the Commission within a week.
NHRC boss disclosed that the Forum recommended the “psychological evaluation, training and retraining of disbanded SARS officials prior to re-deployment”.
The statement reads: “There was also an agreement by the forum that the Inspector General of Police should order all State Police Commands to halt the use of force against protesters and to release arrested protesters and citizens unconditionally”.
It said the Forum resolved to set up some 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 further notes that the proposed reforms should be anchored under the basis of the White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad which was jointly authored by the National Human Rights Commission, the Federal Ministry of Justice, and the Nigeria Police Force.
“The Forum affirms 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”, the statement added.