The National Human Rights Commission has said that it would set up an independent investigation panel to look into rights violations by the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other segments of the Nigeria Police Force within the next one week.
The commission made this known on Tuesday in Abuja at the end of a meeting that had the Executive Secretary of the NHRC and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in attendance.
In a statement, Assistant Director, Corporate Affairs, Fatimah Mohammed, said the meeting resolved to set up a technical committee to be supported by the NHRC and other civil society organisations to design the roadmap and a work plan for the implementation of the white paper of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of SARS.
The statement reads, “Against the foregoing, the Executive Secretary stated that an open call for memoranda from members of the public whose rights have been violated by the defunct SARS and other segments of the police will be released by the commission within a week.
“The NHRC Chief Executive Officer disclosed that the forum recommends the psychological evaluation, training and retraining of disbanded SARS officials prior to re-deployment.
“There was also an agreement by the forum that the Inspector-General of Police should order all state police commands to halt the use of force against protesters and to release arrested protesters and citizens unconditionally.”
The meeting affirmed that reform proposals for the Nigeria Police Force will be based on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and existing legislations such as the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act, 2019, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2010 amongst others.
It also affirmed that the five-point demand of the protesters and the ENDSARS movement, which bothers on giving justice to victims of SARS brutality and improved working conditions for police personnel are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the government.