Human Rights: Investigative panel on SARS to continue sitting March 1st

By Salihu Ali, Abuja

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The National Human Rights Commission has said that, the Independent Investigative Panel set up by the Nigerian government on alleged human rights violation by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (IIP-SARS) will on Tuesday 1st of March 2022 continue its sitting.


The panel whose aim is restoring human dignity as well as hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable was suspended due to lack funds.


The Deputy Director Public Affairs of the National Human Rights Commission, Fatimah Agwaii revealed this in a press statement.


According to the statement, “297 petitions were received across the country bothering on illegal arrest and detention, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment and extra-judicial killing, among others.”


“Out of these cases, 25 were struck out, 12 were withdrawn, 1 was dismissed, 75 cases had panel decisions, and 20 cases were slated for monetary compensation which has since been awarded by the Commission.” The statement said.


The Commission awarded monetary compensation to families and victims of police brutality in December 2022, as part of recommendations by the panel, with several cases yet to be concluded.


The statement noted that, “panel is expected to sit for an initial period of six weeks (with breaks at intervals) to hear a total of 92 cases. 29  general cases, 12 part-heard cases, and 51 cases involving judgment debts.” 


The Commission is seeking the support and cooperation of the police and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that perpetrators of police brutality are made to face the wrath of the law.


The IIP-SARS was set up by the Nigerian Government in November 2020 following the “ENDSARS Protest” which was triggered by nationwide allegations of Police brutality.


A similar Panel established in 2018 and Chaired by the Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu SAN had earlier submitted its report to Nigerian president, with far-reaching recommendations which led to some of the ongoing reforms in the Nigerian police.


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