The Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (IIP-SARS) constituted after the anti-SARS riot will resume sitting on Tuesday 1st March
A statement by the Deputy Director Public Affairs, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Fatimah Mohammed on Monday said the decision was made in order to continue the journey to restore human dignity as well as hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable by the Commission.
Mohammed said although the Commission awarded monetary compensation to families and victims of police brutality in December 2022, as part of recommendations by the panel, there are several cases yet to be concluded.
She recalled that 297 petitions were received across the country bothering on illegal arrest and detention, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment, extra-judicial killing, etc.
She also recalled that out of these cases, 25 were struck out, 12 were withdrawn, 1 was dismissed, 75 cases had panel decisions, and 20 cases were slated for monetary compensation which has since been awarded by the Commission.
Mohammed noted that while the panel adjourned sine die due to lack of funding to continue with the remaining cases, the Commission was able to acquire some funds for the panel to continue sitting.
She revealed that the panel is expected to sit for an initial period of six weeks (with breaks at intervals) to hear a total of 92 cases. 29 general cases, 12 part-heard cases, and 51 cases involving judgment debts.
The NHRC Spokesperson said: “The Commission is using this medium to seek the support and cooperation of the police and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that perpetrators of police brutality are made to face the wrath of the law.”
The IIP-SARS was set up by the Federal Government in November 2020 following the “ENDSARS Protest” which was triggered by nationwide allegations of Police brutality.
A similar Panel established in 2018 and Chaired by the Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu had earlier submitted its report to the president, the report contained far-reaching recommendations which led to some of the ongoing reforms in the Nigerian police.