A total number of 17 petitions have been received by the National Human Rights Commission from members of the public bothering on alleged extrajudicial killings, molestation and torture by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
According to reports, the petitions filed by members of the public were received in Port Harcourt where the NHRC staged a public hearing into complaints against SARS in the South-South Zone.
During the public hearing organised by the commission in conjunction with CLEEN Foundation, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu, explained that the hearing became necessary following the directive of Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo that the commission should investigate claims of human right abuses against SARS.
Ojukwu said; “In line with the statutory responsibility of the commission to investigate and determine cases of alleged human rights violations and in recognition of the seriousness and severity of these complaints which have huge human rights implications, the commission, in collaboration with CLEEN Foundation and Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, has set up this Special Investigative Panel.
“The panel will conduct a public hearing to investigate and determine the complaints received by the commission in the South-South and the South-East geo-political zones.
“The commission is aware that the Inspector General of Police has issued out a number of reforms to be carried out by the Nigeria Police in compliance with the presidential directives to overhaul SARS.
“While commending the IG for the reforms, the commission expected a well-thought-out reform, which would encompass consultations across various strata of the society as well as integrate the recommendations of the Presidential Panel on SARS Reforms,” he said.
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