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SARs panel to continue sitting in March

The National Human Rights Commission says the Independent Investigative Panel on alleged human rights violation by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (IIP-SARS) will on Tuesday 1st of March 2022 continue its sitting.

In a statement by the Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Hajia Fatima Muhammed-Agwai, thee panel will sit for an initial period of six weeks (with breaks at intervals) to hear a total of ninety-two cases involving judgment debts.

According to the statement, the Commission is seeking for the support and cooperation of the police and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that perpetrators of police brutality are brought to justice..

Although the Commission awarded monetary compensation to families and victims of police brutality in December last year, as part of recommendations by the panel, there are several cases yet to be concluded.

The panel which was set up in 2020 received Two hundred and ninety-seven petitions across the country. The petitions bothered on illegal arrest and detention, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment and extra-judicial killing.

Out of these cases, the panel took decisions on 75 cases, 25 were struck out, 12 withdrawn,one dismissed, and 20 cases awarded compensation.

Te panel had adjourned since December last year due to lack of funds to continue with the remaining cases, the statement explained that the Commission was able to acquire some funds for the panel to continue sitting.

The IIP-SARS was set up by the Federal Government in November 2020 following the “ENDSARS Protest” which was triggered by nationwide allegations of Police brutality.

A similar Panel established in 2018 and Chaired by the Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu SAN had earlier submitted its report to the president, the report contained far-reaching recommendations which led to some of the ongoing reforms in the Nigerian police.

Reporting by Bose Ijeleki, Editing by Omotola Oguneye