#EndSARS: Police seek court order to stop judicial panels’ probe

#EndSARS: Police seek court order to stop judicial panels’ probe

The Nigeria Police Force has filed a suit in the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order to stop the various states’ judicial panels of inquiry from probing allegations of human rights abuses by the police.

 

The suit, which was filed on Thursday, relates to the investigation of acts of brutality perpetrated by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units.

 

In the suit, the police urged the court to restrain the Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation and their various panels of inquiry from going ahead with the probe focusing on police brutality.

 

The plaintiff named about 104 defendants in the suit, including the Attorney-General of the Federation and the National Human Rights Commission which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja.

 

The other defendants include the Attorneys-General of the states, and chairmen of the states’ panels.

 

The police, through its counsel, Mr O. M. Atoyebi (SAN), is of the view that the state governments lack the power to constitute the panels to investigate activities of the police force and its personnel in the conduct of their statutory duties.

 

The plaintiff maintained that the state governments’ decision to set up such panels violated provisions of Section 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act.

 

It, therefore, asked the court to declare that the establishment of the panels of inquiry by the governors of the various states to probe the activities of the police concerning the discharge of their duties was unconstitutional.

 

The police, in the suit, solicited “a declaration that having regard to the circumstances of this case, the attitude of the governors of the various states of the Federation of Nigeria, in this case, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

 

The plaintiff also asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the state Attorneys-General of the 36 states from making or conducting any investigations, sittings, and inquiries and from making or conducting any further investigations, sittings and inquiries in respect of matters affecting the police.

 

No date has however, been fixed for hearing.

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