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Police Service Commission Raises Hope On SARS Reform

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Police Service Commission has 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 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.

Chairman of the commission, Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police, made the pledge today when he received a delegation from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in his office.

The NHRC team led by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu was in the PSC to formally present the 2018 Report of the Presidential Panel and to solicit its support in the implementation of the aspects of the Report covered by PSC constitutional mandate.

Smith said the PSC will collaborate and support the NHRC in the promotion of good governance, adding that for an 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, according to him, must be properly trained and exposed to regular training.

He further noted that 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, adding that any misconduct “should be severely and promptly handled”.

He however observed that government should show more concern to the funding of its vital agencies, noting that these agencies need funds to do their job.

The chairman 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.

In his remarks Ojukwu told the PSC Chairman that PSC has all it takes to deal appropriately with the Report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of SARS

. “We have come to see a PSC determined to play a leading role in the reform of the Nigeria Police Force”, he said.

The NHRC boss  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.

He added that at the end of the public hearing, the Panel recommended 37 Police Officers for dismissal and 24 were recommended for prosecution.

 “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”, he further explained.

A copy of the Report was thereafter presented to the Commission.


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