NHRC commends I-G on FSARS ban

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) In Tuesday commended the Inspector-General of Police (I-GP), Mohammed Adamu for banning the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).

Mr Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, gave the commendation in Abuja, while reacting to the recent ban on SARS and other special teams of the Nigerian Police from routine patrol duties

” His order is in line with the Commission’s recommendations following a report on the Presidential Investigation Panel on allegations of human rights violations against SARS.

” This is not the first time such a proclamation is made by the Police hierarchy and that compliance to such orders has remained a problem.

“It is hoped that this time the directive which is expected to preserve and protect the rights to privacy and dignity of the human person from atrocious acts of some bad eggs in the Nigeria Police will be enforced to the fullest” Ojukwu stated .

He lamented that reported cases of human rights violations against the police was assuming an alarming proportion.

Ojukwu recalled that in an effort to mitigate such violations, the Vice President in 2018 gave a directive for the setting up of a Special Investigation Panel to look into the activities of the SARS.

He restated the shocking revelations that came out during the panel sitting’s which the report already submitted to government, contained far-reaching recommendations.

Ojukwu added that the recommendations included the establishment of state and local government Police structure and banning FSARS from embarking on routine patrol, stop and search duties etc.

He expressed optimism that the recent ban of SARS and other similar Police teams from routine operations will afford the force the opportunity to rejig its operations and re-focus it in line with human rights best practices.

He also expressed regrets in the manner which some of the officials of SARS operate is inimical to the image of the Police and that of the country in general.

“This is due to the fact that such officials often operate contrary to the rules of engagement and standard of procedures of the force.

” Most times they do not wear Police uniforms, making it difficult for one to identify them as Policemen.

” The commission has continued to record cases of extra-judicial killings, series of extortion, harassment, and intimidation of innocent citizens by FSARS without much being done to change the status quo, thereby tarnishing the image of the country among the global community” he lamented.

Ojukwu emphasised that accountability was key in dealing with such cases as nobody should be above the law.

He expressed the readiness of the Commission to continue to work with the police especially in the area of training and retraining all FSARS officers.

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