Presidential Investigation panel condemns SARS over excessive torturing of inmates

Presidential Investigation panel condemns SARS over excessive torturing of inmates
January 20 22:58 2019 Print This Article

By Martin Odiete

The Presidential Investigation Panel on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has cautioned the Special anti robbery Squad, SARS against frequent torturing of inmates under their care saying that the act of torture has not really achieve the purpose for which it is done.

Chairman of the panel, Tony Ojukwu who gave this caution when he led members of his panel on a visit to SARS detention facility in Abuja on Friday said the visit was part of their work to have first hand information about their facility.

The panel was set up by the Federal government to look into the petitions by the public on the operations of SARS and to recommend a way forward.

Mr Ojukwu who is also the Executive Secretary of the National Human Right Commission spoke more on so many salient issue arising from the visit beginning with the issue of congestion,

“We have always preached prison decongestion, we need to do some  background checks, there must be intelligent policing in other to move forward. 

“In this, there must be some diligent investigation to aid in separating the guilty from the innocent,  failure to do that would encourage injustice ” he said. 

Ojukwu lamented the practice of keeping police men who are under detention together with alleged criminals stressing that it has a way of affecting the psychology of the police men when they are eventually released. He also argued that part of the effect is that it tells on the way they treat other people they come across in the line of duty.

While hammering more on torturing, the chairman stressed that there is need for officers to do away or minimize the way they torture inmates or suspects. 

“We don’t benefit much from torture, it only breeds frustration, and the truth cannot be extracted from the person through torture “

“Everyone in detention here had gone through one form of torture or the other, this is not right. Some of the inmates are carrying marks to attest  to that ” he said. 

He decrid the feeding level of the inmates saying it has so much affected the way the inmates were looking, though he said some of the inmates’s families members were bringing foods to them. 

The Presidential Investigation Panel Chairman also touched on the sleeping arrangement of the inmates arguing that the condition they saw there were so inhuman as most of them were carrying several forms of injuries as a result of the poor sleeping arrangements.  

Ojukwu also visited the issue of over crowdedness of the cells declaring that cells that were meant to harbour about 65 inmates had about 100 inmates in them. He gave reasons for the over crowding to delays in taking them for trials saying that some of the inmates have been there for about two years without trials. 

He called on the police authorities to try expedite actions in their trials. Take them to court for a Judge to either prove them guilty and sentence them or prove them innocent and send them home.

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