President Mohammadu has accepted the recommendation of the presidential panel on the reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) headed by the National Human Rights Commission for dismissal and prosecution of 37 police officers, including top cop Abba Kyari for the illegal takeover of the property of a suspect.
The President settled for these recommendations when he received the report of the special panel which investigated allegations of human rights violations and abuse of office against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the Nigerian Police Force at the State House, Abuja.
In the report submitted by Anthony Ojukwu, Chairman of Panel and Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission to the President, a total of 113 complaints were received on alleged human rights violations from across the country, including 22 memoranda on suggestions on how best to reform and restructure SARS and the Nigeria Police in general.
According to the panel, sittings were held in the six geopolitical zones of the country, deliberately to afford complainants and the Police the opportunity to present and defend the allegations.
Ojukwu while unveiling the report, said the panel recommended thirty-seven (37) police officers for dismissal from the force, having listened to the complaints and defense from the public hearings.
His words, “Twenty four (24) officers were recommended for prosecution. The panel also directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of twenty-two (22) officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens.
“The police was directed to pay compensation of various sums in forty-five (45) complaints and tender public apologies in five (5) complaints and directed to obey court orders in five (5) matters.
“The Police was directed to immediately arrest and prosecute of two (2) retired senior Police officers found to have violated the rights of citizens (one for extra-judicial killing and the other for the illegal takeover of the property of a suspect). The Panel also recovered two vehicles illegally auctioned by SARS Officers and returned them to their owners”.
Earlier this year Abba Kyari Intelligence Response Squad came under fire from human rights organisations for the alleged takeover of multi-billion naira properties of a suspected kidnapper who was killed by the police.
The allegation was contained in several petitions to the National Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International which accused the Squad of gross human rights abuses and illegal expropriation of suspected proceeds of crime.
Daybreak recalls that the NHRC had in October 2018 in a petition to then-Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris stated that the IRT, led by Abba Kyari, a deputy police commissioner, had been illegally depleting the asset of Collins Ezenwa, a suspected kidnapper who was gunned down in January 2018.
Mr. Kyari had then denied the allegations.