Police query Legal Officer, as IGP directs investigation into suit to stop states’ EndSARS panels of inquiry

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, Thursday, directed an investigation into the purported suit filed by the Force seeking to stop the judicial panels inaugurated by state governments across the country to probe activities of the disbanded Anti-Robbery Special Squad (SARS) and other tactical units of the Command.

Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu

According to a statement by Police Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Mr Frank Mba, IGP Adamu also expressed disapproval of the Force Management Team on the matter and ordered investigations into the alleged role of the Force Legal Section including its Head in instituting the suit against the probe panels.

The police was widely reported, this week, to have filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking that the judicial panels of inquiry probing allegations of police brutality be stopped.

State governments set up the panels after nationwide protests against the extra-judicial activities of operatives of the Force’s now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in October.

The panels have been fielding petitions from members of the public who have been victims of the notorious unit, with a mandate to deliver justice and compensation.

Police counsel, O. M. Atoyebi (SAN), argued in the application that state governments do not have the powers to investigate the activities of the Force.

He said the panels violate the provisions of section 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act.

The counsel noted that only the Federal Government retains the exclusive power to control and administer the Force according to the provisions.

The application prayed to the court to restrain the panels of inquiry set up by the state government from putting the Force and its officers on trial.

However, in a reaction to the suit filed by the police, the IGP has already ordered the immediate query of the Force Legal Officer.

“The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, has directed immediate investigations into a suit purportedly challenging the legality of the States’ Judicial Panel of Inquiry, investigating allegations by citizens against officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

“The IGP, who gave the order on the heels of trending reports in the media, today 3rd December, 2020, expressed the disapproval of the Force Management Team on the matter and ordered investigations into the alleged role of the Force Legal Section including its Head. Meanwhile, the Force Legal Officer has been queried and may face further sanctions if found guilty of dereliction of duty.

“The IGP reiterates the commitment of the Force to fulfilling all its obligations with regards to the disbandment of the defunct SARS, the ongoing Judicial Panels and all other police reforms,” the police statement read.

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