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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has issued a query to the Force Legal Officer over a court case attempting to stop judicial panels of inquiries across the states hearing alleged cases of police brutality from sitting.
The IGP has also ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the suit challenging the legality of the States’ Judicial Panel of Inquiry, investigating allegations by citizens against officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The Nigeria Police Force has activated legal procedures to stop the #EndSARS judicial panels of inquiries set up by state governments to probe alleged cases of police brutality and other cases of human rights abuses.
The Police in a suit filed by its lawyer, Mr. O. M. Atoyebi before the Federal High Court in Abuja asked the court to stop the panels as the Police Force is not answerable to state governments under Nigeria’s constitution.
They argued that by virtue of the provisions of 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution only the Federal Government had exclusive power to “organize, control and administer the Nigeria Police Force”.
The suit wants the court to declare the action of the various state governments as “unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
However, the IGP has expressed disapproval for the court case and instructed immediate investigation be carried out on the suit and persons behind it.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba on the matter reads: “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has directed immediate investigations into a suit purportedly challenging the legality of the States’ Judicial Panel of Inquiry, investigating allegations by citizens against officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).”
“The IGP, who gave the order on the heels of trending reports in the media, today 3rd December, 2020, expressed the disapproval of the Force Management Team on the matter and ordered investigations into the alleged role of the Force Legal Section including its Head. Meanwhile, the Force Legal Officer has been queried and may face further sanctions if found guilty of dereliction of duty.”
“The IGP reiterates the commitment of the Force to fulfilling all its obligations with regards to the disbandment of the defunct SARS, the ongoing Judicial Panels and all other police reforms.”
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