THE Kwara State judicial panel of enquiry probing rights abuses by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the force in the state has submitted its final report and findings to the state government for onward implementation.
Rafiu Ajakaye, chief press secretary to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, revealed this in a statement issued on Thursday.
According to the statement, AbdulRazaq, who received the panel’s report from Tunde Garba, chairman of the panel, said the state would set up an implementation committee on its recommendations.
“Kwara State is one of the few states that are turning in their reports. It shows that we are on track. We will also set up an implementation committee to look into the recommendations of the panel,” AbdulRazaq was quoted to have said.
“I thank the committee for doing a very delicate work. You were able to bring your experience and expertise to bear on the difficult task. We understand from the size of the document you are submitting that a lot of work has gone into it. You needed more time which we acceded to.”
He commended the police and the entire security agencies in Nigeria for their services to the nation and urged them to continue to do their duties diligently and in line with the law.
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“We must thank the Police and other security agencies for their services to Nigeria for keeping us safe. We encourage them to do their work diligently. Some of the demands of #ENDSARS are already being met by the president. Salaries and emoluments of the police are being looked into,” he said.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is also rolling out a lot of programmes through the social investment programme for the youths and indigents to ensure there is prosperity in the country.
“We need to remain focus and maintain law and order to tame the current insecurity in the country. We need to live together peacefully for the progress of the country.”
For his part, Garba said if the government adopted the recommendations of the panel, it would help to support victims of identified cases of police brutality and also improve the living conditions of serving and retired police officers.
The panel’s report was based on various petitions received, bordering on alleged police brutality, unlawful arrests, extortion, violation of fundamental human rights, and impunity, the retired judge said.
“The report is in three volumes; volume one is the main report, volume two contains the petitions received and adopted by the panel, while volume three contains the list of all the exhibits tendered and admitted during the panel’s proceedings,” he said.
“The main report contains proceedings, our findings and recommendations on each of the 25 petitions received and treated holistically by the panel. It is, therefore, our hope that the recommendations therein, if adopted by the government, will wipe the tears and put a smile on the faces of all the victims of police brutality and even the serving and retired police officers inclusive.”
The panel recommended, among other things, that some erring F-SARS operatives named in unlawful activities be prosecuted and legitimate petitioners compensated with varying sums.
The report also recommended that officers of the Nigeria Police be made to enjoy adequate training and their salaries and emoluments reviewed upward to reduce excesses and improve productivity in the system.
Other members of the panel are Issa Ojibara; Oluronke Adeyemi; Hajia Fatima Jummai Audu; Jumoke Olaoye; Idris Gana Jibril; Nafisat Musa Buge; Kaosarah Abdulrasaq Adeyi; Hassan Yusuff Adio; and Shuaib AbdulGaniyu (Secretary).