Presidential Panel on SARS recommends 37 Police officers for dismissal, 24 for prosecution

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▪︎PSC to partber NHRC

▪︎Promises quick action on report of presidential panel on reform of SARS

The Police Service Commission (PSC) on Friday met with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and promised to speed up action on the implementation of the report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

According to a statement by Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, the National Human Rights Commission team led by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, was in the Police Service Commission to formally present the 2018 report of the Presidential Panel and to solicit the PSC support in the implementation of the aspects of the report covered by PSC constitutional mandate.

He said the Presidential Panel had, among other things, investigated allegations of human rights violations and abuse of office against SARS and recommended reform or restructuring of the outfit.

Receiving the delegation, PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith, retired Inspector General of Police, said the PSC would collaborate and support the Human Rights Commission in the promotion of good governance.

He however said that for an effective reform of the much-maligned SARS, there must be a deliberate effort to select capable, professional and credible people to replace the disbanded outfit.

The selected Officers, he added, must be properly trained and exposed to regular training.

Smith said there must also be close supervision of the newly-selected officers so that the nation would not experience the rot that became the fate of the disbanded unit.

He stated that “Any misconduct, he noted, should be severely and promptly handled.”

He however said government should show more concern to the funding of its vital agencies as these qgencies needed funds to do their job.

He also made a case for proper and “living accommodation” for the Officers of the Nigeria Police, stressing that these officers needed good accommodation to put in their best.

The Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission told the PSC Chairman that PSC has all it takes to deal appropriately with the report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS).

“We have come to see a PSC determined to play a leading role in the reform of the Nigeria Police Force,” he said.

Ojukwu said the reform was the most topical issue in the country today, adding that a lot was expected from the PSC.

He noted that the Panel called for and 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.

Ojukwu said at the end of the public hearing, the Panel recommended 37 Police officers for dismissal and 24 were recommended for prosecution.

“The Panel also directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of 22 officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens.

“A copy of the Report was thereafter presented to the Commission.”

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