SARS: Reps Introduce New Law To Hold Security Officers Responsible For Individual

The national House of Representatives has moved to establish a framework for holding every individual member of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) responsible and accountable for their misconduct in the course of performance of their lawful duties, including civil liabilities and criminal.

This framework will also ensure the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) bears the civil liability for failures in their operational procedures and conducts that lead to violations of citizens’ rights

The resolution is the sequel to the adoptions of a motions under matters of urgent national importance moved by Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa during a plenary on the need to stop the human rights abuses of Nigerins by members of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police.

The lawmakers also ordered the Inspector General of Police to take decisive actions in ending the brutality and human rights violations by SARS and report the House’s said actions within three weeks.

The Inspector General also produces a comprehensive record of disciplinary and(or) Judicial action taken against the officers accused of abuse of power in the past five years and produces an immediate plan to identify and compensate victims.

Hon Alhassan, while presenting the motion, noted with great concerns the persistent outcry by Nigerians over the brutality and human rights violation by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force.

He added that by the alarming rate of unauthorized raids, extortion, stealing, frame-ups, indiscriminate searches of mobile phones, and other smart devices and arbitrary confiscation and fraudulent conversion of private property of citizens to personal use is a sharp departure from their core mandate of responding to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, and other violent crimes.

Hon Alhassan said the SARS squad’s activities in most cases have led to the loss of property and extrajudicial killings, which has eroded public confidence in government and diminished Nigeria’s democratic credentials.

He recalled the recent death of one Ifeoma Abugu who was allegedly raped and murdered in FCT, Abuja, Daniel Ikeaguchi Chibuike in Elelenwo Rivers State, Kinsley Tariuwa in Port Harcourt, Miracle in Nnewi and Kolade Johnson & Temiyu Kazeem in Lagos,

Sunday Bong in Abuja and “The Anti-Torture Act, 2017 and the newly signed Police Act prohibits the use of torture, harassment, and intimidation by security agents,” He said

“Despite repeated announcements since 14th August 2018 by Police authorities to reform SARS, the problem of human rights abuses and impunity still persist within the Police Force.

He observed that in most cases, efforts by victims and their families to seek justice are greeted with concerted opposition from the police authorities, including a threat to their lives.”

The House has, however, set up a Joint Committee on Justice, Human Rights, and Police affairs to oversee the above prayers and Conduct Public Hearing on the Human Rights Violation of Citizens by SARS and submit their report within six weeks for further Legislative action and take immediate steps to develop Legislative actions

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