HURIWA KICKS AGAINST POLICE SUIT AGAINST JUDICIAL PANELS

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*SAYS IT’S ILLEGAL FOR IGP TO SPEND PUBLIC FUND TO FILE A CASE AGAINST THE NIGERIAN PUBLIC:

The  HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) condemns strongly, the Inspector General of Police for his open and brazen disobedience and disloyalty to  President Muhammadu Buhari  who gave clear directive and instruction openly and publicly to the state governments in Nigeria to Constitute Judicial panels of inquiry into police brutality which was the basis of the ENDSARS protests.

The decision of the police high command under the headship of Mohammed Adamu  to institute a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to abort the proceedings at the different Judicial panels of inquiry in different states of the Federation, is disgraceful, and a direct affront to the authority of the President of Nigeria and an unmitigated desecration of the Constitution.

It is irresponsible, insanely irrational, and senseless for the IGP to deep his hands into the public till to file a case against the same public – his employers, because the Nigeria people are the employers of the police so why is the IGP challenging the Nigerian public? It is an indescribable disgrace that the IGP wants the court of law to stop the victims of police brutality from ventilating their grievances before the properly constituted judicial panel of inquiry.

So what is the IGP afraid of or are his hands stained by the blood of the innocent citizens killed over the many years by Special anti robbery squad of the Nigerian police force?

Why is the IGP scared of the truth that are coming out from the panels of inquiry and why does he not want the victims of police brutality to obtain justice?

That reported suit instituted at the Federal High Court  by the IGP is provocative, unconstitutional, illegal, primitive, despicable and must be withdrawn forthwith or the IGP must be asked to refund the money used to institute the matter and be fired or is that instruction to go to court given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari in which case Nigerians will now see that the President is not honest about changing the status quo of policing which is deeply enmeshed in the use of torture and extralegal executions.

HURIWA recalled that the Police initiated a move to stop various panels probing allegations of rights abuses and other acts of impunity against police officials, particularly operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

HURIWA recalled that State governments had based on their understanding with President Muhammadu Buhari raised the panels to investigate alleged infractions by SARS operatives, following nationwide #EndSARS protests by youths.

HURIWA recalled that the panels have since been sitting in almost all the states just as suddenly the Police approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking among others, an order restraining the Attorneys-General of the 36 states and the panels of inquiry they constituted, from proceedings with their investigation of the activities of the police and their officials.The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020, filed for the NPF by its lawyer, O. M. Atoyebi (SAN) has 104 defendants.The defendants include the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the attorneys-general of the states and chairmen of the panels set up by the states.
It is the plaintiff’s main contention that the decision by governors to set up panels of inquiry to investigate activities of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and their  officials in the conduct of their statutory duties violate Section 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act.

HURIWA recalled that  the police is of the view that by the provisions of 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution the Federal Government of Nigeria has exclusive power to “organise, control and administer the Nigeria Police Force.”

The plaintiff raised three questions for the court’s determination. It is also seeking four main reliefs.

The Police have initiated a move to stop various panels probing allegations of rights abuses and other acts of impunity against police officials, particularly operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

State governments have raised the panels to investigate alleged infractions by SARS operatives, following nationwide #EndSARS protests by youths.

The panels have since been sitting in almost all the states.

But, the Police have approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking among others, an order restraining the Attorneys-General of the 36 states and the panels of inquiry they constituted, from proceedings with their investigation of the activities of the police and their officials.

The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020, filed for the NPF by its lawyer, O. M. Atoyebi (SAN) has 104 defendants.

The Rights group however believes that the frivolous suit shows that the police hierarchy indeed supports the use of torture and extrajudicial killings by operatives of the Nigerian police.

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