The report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS) has recommended the dismissal of 37 ex-SARS personnel and prosecution of 24 others.
Also, the Police Service Commission on Friday, October 16th 2020 met with the National Human Rights Commission and promised to speed up action on the implementation of the Report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The National Human Rights Commission team led by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu was in the Police Service Commission to formally present the 2018 Report of the Presidential Panel and to solicit the PSC support in the implementation of the aspects of the Report covered by PSC constitutional mandate.
The Presidential Panel had among other things investigated allegations of human rights violations and abuse of office against SARS and recommended reform or restructuring of the outfit.
Receiving the delegation, PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith, retired Inspector General of Police, said the PSC will collaborate and support the Human Rights Commission in the promotion of good governance.
He, however, said that for effective reform of the much-maligned SARS, there must be a deliberate effort to select capable, professional and credible people to replace the disbanded outfit.
The selected Officers, he added, must be properly trained and exposed to regular training.
Smith said there must also be close supervision of the newly selected officers so that the nation will not experience the rot that became the fate of the disbanded unit.
Any misconduct, he noted, should be severely and promptly handled.
He, however, said the government should show more concern to the funding of its vital Agencies as these Agencies need funds to do their job.
He also made a case for proper and ‘living accommodation for the Officers of the Nigeria Police, stressing that these Officers need good accommodation to put in their best.
The Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission told the PSC Chairman that PSC has all it takes to deal appropriately with the Report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS).
“We have come to see a PSC determined to play a leading role in the reform of the Nigeria Police Force”, he said.
Ojukwu said the reform is the most topical issue in the country today, adding that a lot is expected from the PSC.
He noted that the Panel called for and received 113 complaints on alleged human rights violations from across the country and 22 memoranda on suggestions on how to reform and restructure SARS and the Nigeria Police in general.
“The Panel also directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of 22 officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens.
A copy of the Report was thereafter presented to the Commission.
Niger Delta Militants Threaten To Attack Lagos, Abuja
Niger Delta militants under the aegis of Supreme Egbesu Liberation Fighters have threatened to destroy infrastructure in Lagos State and Abuja .
In a video posted on Tuesday by AIT , members of the group were seen wearing masks and putting on a military uniform .
One of them , who read a statement on behalf of the group , lamented poor implementation of the amnesty programme in the region, saying , “ there are no schools , no potable water , no light , no hospital and access roads for our people to enjoy till date” .
He said , “ Over the years, the Niger Delta people have made frantic efforts to create an enabling environment but to our great dismay, the Nigerian government over the years has decided to handle the issues of the Niger Delta with kid gloves .
“ They have betrayed the struggle and have left the people to their fate ,” a member of the group read from a statement .
“ Rather, what is visible is the presence of military gunboat and the numerous military personnel dispersed to the Niger Delta who are killing, raping , and maiming the innocent people of the region.
“ Look at the security surveillance contract taking place in our region through the federal government these agencies in place have decided to shortchange our people . Now in our territorial waters , it is an Israeli company that is providing waterway security which we have competent hands with expert knowledge to manage.
“ Don ’t worry, because we are coming to destroy all your infrastructure in Abuja and Lagos . As a group committed to giving total liberation to our people , we will destroy the oil facilities both onshore and offshore in no distant time , we will be seen to be crippling the Nigerian economy. ”
Ogun To Arrest Illegal Occupants Of Forest Reserve
The Ogun State government said it would soon start combing its forest reserve to arrest and prosecute illegal occupants .
The State Commissioner for Forestry , Tunji Akinosi , said this while responding to questions from journalists in Abeokuta , the state capital.
Akinosi said the government had written letters to the traditional rulers in the areas asking them to tell the illegal occupants to leave or be arrested .
He said, “ We have asked those that are illegally occupying our lands to leave , and now we are moving to the second stage of combing the areas ourselves and arresting those that are still residents in the reserve. ”
The Commissioner, while speaking on the depleted condition of the forest reserve, said, “ In the last 18 months , this administration has taken the bull by the horn in getting the Imeko and Aworo Forest Reserves back and running .
“ Unfortunately , the depletion did not start right now , it has been there and government this year alone had met twice with the Iledotun project coordinators and had taken 108 ,000 hectares of the forest reserve in Imeko and Aworo for regeneration .
“ We call it LND project , Land Degradation Neutrality project where you bring people of diverse nations to regenerate that place , and I am sure that between now and the next few months , you will see the work that would start there in reclaiming all the land that is there .”
Police Misconduct Responsible For #EndSARS Protests —PSC
The Chairman , Police Service Commission , Musiliu Smith , has attributed the # EndSARS protests to the misconduct of officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Smith , a former Inspector -General of Police , decried the level of misconduct in the police force saying his office was always inundated with complaints from Nigerians .
The PSC chairman stated this at a retreat with the IG and his police management team , in Abuja on Tuesday .
Smith ’s statement contradicted claims by the Minister of Information and Culture , Lai Mohammed that the October protests were instigated by political and religious leaders .
He also said the demonstrations which were subsequently hijacked by hoodlums leading to widespread violence and looting , were aimed at overthrowing the Federal Government .
But puncturing these claims in his first public comment on the incident , the retired IG said, “ We are always having a lot of complaints from the members of the public against police officers. I believe that # EndSARS resulted from serious misconduct of some of our personnel .
“ I want to advise that we review the arrangements we are making for investigating such cases . Let ’s ensure that investigations are thoroughly conducted and whoever is the police officer that has been indicted will be punished according to the law . If we are doing that , some of the public complaints will go down . ”
Smith , who had been at loggerheads with the police leadership on the recruitment of police constables , also admonished IG Mohammed Adamu to work closely with the commission on the recruitment of credible Nigerians into the force.
Smith added that the number of court cases against the police was alarming , stressing that the force may not be able to pay the damages awarded against it .
In his remarks earlier, the IGP noted that the retreat was to bridge the communication gap and engender a better understanding and working relationship between the force and the police service commission .
The Attorney – General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Abubukar Malami , who also spoke at the retreat, harped on the need for a harmonious working relationship among all the agencies of the government .