Presidential panel on SARS reforms recommends state police, dismissal of 37 policemen

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The Presidential Panel on SARS Reforms has recommended the creation of state and local government police to effectively tackle insecurity in the country.

The panel also recommended the dismissal of 37 policemen for violating human rights.

These were contained in a report on SARS Reform submitted to President Muhummadu Buhari by Chairman of the panel and Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Anthony Ojukwu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today.

The panel said it received 113 complaints from across the nation and 22 memoranda on suggestions on how to reform and restructure SARS and the Nigeria Police in general.

The report reads in part, “At the end of its public hearing and having listened to complaints as w ell as defendants and their counsel, the Panel recommended thirty-seven (37) Police officers for dismissal from the force. Twenty four (24) were recommended for prosecution.

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“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 were 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 were directed to immediately arrest and prosecute 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 Property of a suspect). The Panel also recovered two vehicles illegally auctioned by SARS Officers and returned them to their owners.”

The panel further recommended “Significant improvement in the funding, kitting and facilities of the Nigeria Police Force; Strengthening Information and Communication Technology of the Force; Establishment of State and local government Police.”

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