MOHAMED Adamu, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), says he is not aware of any suit challenging to stop various constituted Judicial Panel of Inquiries by states across the country investigating alleged misconducts by men of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police.
The ICIR had reported how the Nigeria police through its counsel, O. M. Atoyebi, had filed a suit at an Abuja Federal High Court challenging the constitutionality and legality of state governments to set up judicial panels to investigate the activities of a federal establishment.
Atoyebi prayed the court to restrain the Attorneys-General of the 36 states in the country and their various panels of enquiry from continuing with the probe into alleged police misconduct.
The police prayed the court to declare the actions of the governors of the states over the panel as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
Furthermore, Atoyebi sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the state Attorneys-General of the 36 states from making or conducting any investigations, sittings, and inquiries in connection with the Nigeria Police force or its officials.
The report has since generated a lot of backlashes and criticisms for the police and the Nigerian government by Nigerians on social media.
But in a statement on its official Twitter account on Thursday evening, the police said the IGP has directed an immediate investigation into the suit.
The statement stated that the IGP has “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.”
While stating that the force is committed to fulfilling all its obligations with regards to the disbandment of the defunct SARS, the ongoing Judicial Panels and all other police reforms, the statement added the Force Legal Officer has been queried and may face further sanctions if found guilty of dereliction of duty.
Protest, demands, government’s response
In October, there were a series of protests across major cities of Nigeria, when the youths demanded an end to police brutality and police reforms.
The protesters issued a five-point demand which included the release of all persons arrested and justice for victims of police brutality.
Other demands are “setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct (within 10 days), psychological evaluation of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed, and increase in police salary so that they can be adequately compensated for protecting lives and property of citizens.”
In response, President Muhammadu Buhari directed Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to disband the dreaded unit of the police.
Also, Some state governors except Borno, Kebbi, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe, Jigawa and Zamfara have set up Judicial panels of inquiry to investigate the acts of police misconduct perpetrated by the operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and to give reprieve to the victims of police brutality and their families.