#ENDSARS: NHRC says no erring SARS operative will go unpunished, inaugurates Investigative Panel

#ENDSARS: NHRC says no erring SARS operative will go unpunished, inaugurates Investigative Panel
October 22 07:24 2020 Print This Article

By Martin Odiete, Abuja

Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu has assured the Youths of the country that no personals of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigeria Police found guilty of Human Rights violations will go unpunished.

Ojukwu stated this while inaugurating the Independent Investigative Panel set up to carry out the assignment. He maintained that the Nigerian Government is very sensitive to the plight of the Nigerian Youths and would not fold its hands and watch Nigerians dehumanize by unscrupulous elements in the Nigeria Police Force.

The commission however noted that the authorities had shown reasonable restraint in the management of the protests before now, however added that the turn of events in the past few days are condemnable.

He also maintained that the Commission is also part of the States Panel of Inquiries established to inquire into allegations of Human Rights violations as directed by the The National Economic Council that Panel of investigation be set up in all the State and the Federal Capital Territory.

To this end, he stated that he has directed its staff nationwide to monitor the #ENDSARS protests and submit comprehensive reports to enable it make appropriate recommendation to the government for accountability and remedy.

The panel comprises of Justice Suleiman Galadima (Chairman), Representatives of the civil society; Dr. Lydia Umar and Dr. Uju Agomoh, representative of the National Human Rights Commission; Abdulrahman Yakubu,  and Representatives of Nigerian Youths; Mubarak Mijinyawa.

Others are Representatives of the Police Service Commission; Tijani Mohammed, representative of Nigerian Police Force, Ibrahim Larmode, representative of the Nigerian Bar Association; John Aikpokpo and Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN), while Hilary Ogbonna will serve as Secretary.

Acccording to Ojukwu, the NHRC is shocked at the use of live bullets against peaceful protesters as happened on Tuesday and some other parts of the country where state emergency has been declared.

“The hoodlums who infiltrated the protests and attacked police officers and destroyed properties of members of he public should be arrested and tried for their actions.

“Innocent members of the public who lost their properties due to the action of these hoodlums must be compensated because they were not given protection by the law enforcement agents.

Meanwhile, the terms of reference of the panel is to investigate allegations of human rights violations and abuse of power made against defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian Police Force, make determination as to the damages or compensation payable in relation to any violation of human rights where it seems necessary.

Refer any matter of human rights violation requiring prosecution to the Attorney General of the federation, make recommendation to government on measures to be taken in respect of operatives of defunct SARS, propose remedial steps that may enhance the professional conduct of defunct SARS operatives among others.

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