#EndSARS: Police withdraw suit challenging legality of state judicial panels’ probes

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The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has filed to withdraw a suit challenging the legality of the state judicial panels probing alleged infractions against police personnel and the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A counsel to the police, Festus Ibude filed to discontinue the suit on Friday.

The withdrawal of the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020 before the Federal High Court in Abuja came a day after the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) said he did not authorise the filing of the suit.

The National Economic Council (NEC) comprising the Vice President and the 36 state governors had taken the decision to set up the judicial panels as a fallout of the #EndSARS protest in October.

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However, a senior lawyer, Oyetola Muyiwa Atoyebi (SAN), had filed the suit on behalf of the police against 104 defendants, including the Attorneys-General of the Federation and the 36 states, contesting the legality of the panels’ probes.

In the suit, the police argued that the probe of police personnel and tactical squads by the state judicial panels contravened constitutional provisions.

According to the plaintiff, the state governments’ decision to set up such panels violated the provisions of section 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act.

It 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 “organise, control and administer the Nigeria Police Force”.

 

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