SARS Reform: Presidential Panel recommends 37 officers for dismissal, 24 for prosecution

SARS Reform: Presidential Panel recommends 37 officers for dismissal, 24 for prosecution

The Presidential Panel on Reform of SARS has recommended 37 police officers for dismissal and 24 others for prosecution, following its reception of 113 complaints on alleged human rights violations from across the country.


The action is contained in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Ani, Head, Press and Public Relations, the Police Service Commission’s (PSC) on Friday in Lagos.


In the statement, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, solicited the support of the PSC in the implementation of the aspects of the report that were specifically covered by PSC’s constitutional mandate.


Ojukwu made the request while formally presenting the 2018 Report of the Presidential Panel to the PSC.


“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,” Ojukwu was quoted as saying in statement.


Ojukwu said that PSC had the capacity 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 that the Panel also asked the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, to uncover the identity of 22 officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens.


Responding, the PSC Chairman, retired Inspector-General of Police Musiliu Smith, said that the PSC would collaborate and support the Human Rights Commission in efforts to promote good governance.


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


“There must also be training and close supervision of the newly-selected officers, so that the nation will not experience the rot that became the fate of the disbanded unit.


“Any misconduct should be severely and promptly handled,” Smith said.


The former police boss, however, said that the government should show more concern to the funding of its vital agencies, as the agencies needed adequate funds to do their job.

He also urged the government to provide standard and proper living accommodation for the officers of the Nigeria Police Force so as to enable the officers to put in their best.

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