…says House will go on with police reforms
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for scraping the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Gbajabiamila said in a statement by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi, that the dissolution of SARS was a necessary response by the government to the outcry arising from multiple documented excesses of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the country.
Gbajabiamila also commended Nigerians who saw a wrong and sought to make it right, who saw injustice and acted to put an end to it.
The House had on Wednesday rose against brutality of SARS officers, passing some vital resolutions on the matter and demanded the IGP to take decisive action against the brutality and human rights violation by SARS officers and report the said action to the Green Chamber within three weeks.
The dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and the broader, ongoing reforms of the police that will follow, are a testament to the passion and resilience of a generation of Nigerians who determined not to accept or tolerate injustice in whatever form it takes.
The Speaker called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar Adamu to take practical steps to support and enforce this policy pronouncement.
He said: “These steps are necessary to assure the Nigerian people that the announced dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is sincere and well-intentioned, and not merely meant to quell the ongoing protests across the country.
“The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) must also act to identify and punish those operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) involved in the most severe cases of abuse of rights, brutality and murder of Nigerian citizens.”
Gbajabiamila noted with displeasure the police’s manhandling of the some protesters, who came out in numbers to protest peacefully.
The Speaker assured all Nigerians that the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will not preclude the ongoing efforts by the House of Representatives to effect reforms of the police through legislation.
With regards to reforming the police, the House resolved to take immediate steps to amend existing laws and the the 1999 Constitution to excise Section 215 (5) and replace it with provisions that ensure judicial review of police actions are enshrined and protected by the constitution.
Furthermore, the House resolved to establish a framework for holding individual members of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) accountable for their conduct in the course of performing their lawful duties, including criminal and civil liabilities.
It was equally resolved that the Nigeria Police Force would be allowed to bear civil liability for failures in their conduct and operational procedures that lead to violations of citizens’ rights.