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Presidential panel exposes SARS, knocks police

By News Express on 18/11/2018

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•Nigeria policemen on duty
•Nigeria policemen on duty

The Presidential Panel on Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Reform, on Saturday, in Lagos State, exposed the failure of the agency of the Nigeria Police to follow due process in the discharge of its duties.

According to the chairman of the panel, Mr Tony Ojukwu, there were some cases which ordinarily should not be the business of SARS.

On a case bordering on extra judicial killing, Ojukwu questioned policemen on why they would carry out coroner inquest on a body without informing relatives of the deceased.

“If you have invited a pathologist to carry out autopsy on a body without a relation to identify the body, how are we so sure you have the right body?

“There is a need to always do the right thing. You should have in mind that there will always be a day of account. All of these have to stop,” he warned.

He cited such instances to include a case where a SARS official was assigned to handle a matter bordering on debt between two parties.

“This is a matter that a policeman can handle in any police station, not SARS. So, when you are called upon that a bank robbery is ongoing, you will say you are taking statements from market women,” he said.

The chairman also addressed the issue of SARS official covering name tags while on illegal duties and questioned why policemen would not register their presence at the nearest police station so as to check issues of illegal duty shifts.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the five-day public hearing had some cases successfully resolved, while one was dismissed as complainants refused to show up.

A number of other cases were adjourned for panel’s decision and the rest reported to have been settled by necessary authorities.

The public hearing, organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), came to an end after evaluating the inadequacies of the police as well as members of the public.

The panel revealed that failure of some complainants to report as well as bad timing of report of some incidents was challenges in resolving some issues.

NAN reported that most of the cases listened to by the panel exposed the failure of SARS to follow due process in discharging their duties.

Ojukwu, however, commended the policemen that accepted their wrongs, saying that it is when policemen try to outsmart the panel that cases keep taking time to resolve.

NAN reports that the panel is proceeding to Owerri for the joint South-East and South-South Zone public hearing. (NAN)

Source News Express

Posted 18/11/2018 09:56:27 AM

 

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