The Police Service Commission (PSC) has reaffirmed its commitment to taking disciplinary actions against officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad Unit of the Nigeria Police Force (SARS) who were implicated by the Presidential Panel in its investigation of widespread human rights violations that triggered the nationwide #EndSARS protests in 2020,Daily Trust report.
The assurance was conveyed during the launch of the EndSARS Judicial Review Report at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) headquarters in Abuja.
Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, disclosed that the Presidential Panel on SARS had recommended to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) at the time and the PSC to either prosecute those found guilty or initiate disciplinary proceedings within the jurisdiction of the PSC.
Ojukwu assured victims of police brutality that the Commission would diligently pursue justice for them and pledged to stand against any form of human rights violations. In collaboration with the non-governmental organization, Enough is Enough (EiE), the NHRC is set to release the EndSARS Judicial Panel Review Report, commemorating the 2020 #EndSARS protests during which many Nigerians lost their lives.
Ojukwu expressed concern about the challenges faced by the presidential panel, which was established under the directive of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and replicated in 29 states and the FCT. These challenges included a lack of political will among the elite and impunity among some suspects who disregarded panel summonses.
He urged the panels in various states that have yet to submit their reports and provide compensation to victims to fulfill their responsibilities. Ojukwu also noted that the panel in Abuja had already disbursed N431,884,094 in compensation to 100 victims of police brutality.
Additionally, Ojukwu highlighted that the Police Service Commission had recently communicated their commitment to take appropriate disciplinary actions against those implicated by the panel for gross human rights violations and abuses of office. The NHRC boss emphasized the importance of maintaining the focus on the EndSARS protest and ensuring vigilance as human rights defenders.