#EndSARS: IGP Orders Probe of Suit Seeking to Stop Judicial Panels’ From Sitting

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed immediate investigations into the suit challenging the legality of the States’ Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating the allegations against officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday hours after the police filed the suit.

“The IGP, who gave the order on the heels of trending reports in the media, today 3rd December 2020, expressed the disapproval of the Force Management Team on the matter and ordered investigations into the alleged role of the Force Legal Section including its Head.

“Meanwhile, the Force Legal Officer has been queried and may face further sanctions if found guilty of dereliction of duty,” the statement read.

According to the IGP, the police remain committed to fulfilling all their obligations with regards to the disbandment of the defunct SARS, the ongoing proceedings of the judicial panels, and all other police reforms.

It was reported that the suit was at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It seeks to stop the judicial panels of inquiry set up by various state governments to probe the allegations of police brutality and human rights abuses by the disbanded SARS and other police tactical units.

The police, through their lawyer, O.M. Atoyebi, had argued that the state governments lacked the power to constitute the panels to investigate activities of the force and its officials in the conduct of their statutory duties.

They urged the court to restrain the Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation and their various panels of inquiry from going ahead with the probe focussing on police impunity.

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Joined as defendants in the suit included the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja, the Attorneys-General of the 36 states, as well as the chairmen of the panels.

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