35 operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force have been indicted for various misconducts as confirmed in a report submitted by the National Human Rights Commission to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Monday October 19.
Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu who revealed that the list was an extract of the full report of the Special Presidential Panel on SARS earlier submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on June 3, 2019, said the list of the indicted operatives was accompanied with the full report of the panel to guide the prosecution of the indicted operatives.
The document which covered reported infractions of SARS operatives in Lagos, Imo, Akwa-Ibom, Benue, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun and Rivers State, also recommended the payment of compensation ranging from N500, 000 to N20million, to some of the identified victims, as well as to families of deceased victims. The NPF was directed to by way of Newspaper publications, tender apology to some of the victims.
Ojukwu said; “In line with mandate of the panel, the commission is here today to submit the list to you, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the list of all officers who have been indicted in the report.
“The list contains the names of all those who are to be prosecuted for various offences by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
“We have also brought the original copy of the full report which will also guide the office of the Attorney-General in looking at the details for the required prosecution, because the summary will not have all the documents.
“We brought the full report which will guide the prosecuting officers.”
The AGF on his own part said his office would do justice to the list through prosecution and taking associated incidental administrative steps.
Malami said; “Our responsibility as a government is to establish and entrench a constitutional program to take care of the collective interest that will incorporate the interest of the victim of crime, the interest of the nation and the interest of the individual involved.
“This government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has indeed demonstrated effective consciousness of these factors with particular reference to perhaps the Police.
“The government has taken steps, inclusive of having in place the Police Act 2020, which is indeed a piece of legislation established with a view to ensuring that necessary reforms are brought into then operations of the Police. Far-reaching indeed, with a wider approach.
“Approach that has to do with the welfare of police officers and the welfare of the society as it relates to having in place community policing and indeed having necessary checks and discipline that will ensure that the Police as an institution and not necessarily a unit of it is brought inline with the best practices for the purpose of the discharge of their responsibilities.”