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ENDSARS: FG ignores call to reconstitute Governing Council for NHRC, sets up investigative panel

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THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has set up an investigative panel into police brutality in Nigeria.

This is despite calls by Nigerians to the Federal Government to constitute a Governing Council for the Commission.

Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the Commission made this known in Abuja through a statement issued on Friday.

The Committee is headed by Suleiman Galadima, a retired Justice of the Supreme  Court.

Ojukwu said the Committee would hear petitions, complaints, and memoranda from Nigerians across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, and thereafter make recommendations to the Federal Government on how best to reform the disbanded SARS and other units of the Police.

He added that the responsibility of the panel shall include investigating all complaints of human rights violations against SARS and other units of the Police force, making appropriate recommendations as per the damages and compensations to be paid to the victims of Police brutality.

Ojukwu stated that all petitions, complaints, and memoranda must reach the Commission, which is the Secretariat of the Panel on or before October 31, 2020.

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However, Folarin Falana, a Nigerian musician also known as Falz had in an open letter called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstitute the Governing Council of the Commission.

According to Falz, the Executive Secretary of the Commission should not exist without the constitution of a Governing Council.

The Nigerian Musician stated that the NHRC has been functioning without a governing council since 2015.

Falz said in line with Section 7(3) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, the Executive Secretary of the Commission does not have the power to act without a Governing Council.

He also stated that due to the provision of the Act that vests the power to investigate cases of human rights abuses on the NHRC, the Commission needs not to constitute another Committee to investigate misconduct by operatives of the defunct SARS.

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Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via labolade@icirnigeria.org, on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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