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National Assembly condemns, probes extrajudicial killings by security agents

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• PSC promises close monitoring of FSARS operatives
The Senate, yesterday, mandated its committees on Judiciary and Police Affairs to investigate allegations of extrajudicial killings against Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives. It also ordered the arrest and trial of indicted officers.

The resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC: Lagos Central) at plenary.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks, directed: “We want to hear from you (committees) what happened to those that killed innocent Nigerians, including those that happened in the past.”

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He said mere dismissal of overzealous and reckless officers was not enough, stating: “Those who are involved in the recent killings of innocent Nigerians should be arrested and prosecuted.”

Lawan added: “Scrapping SARS now may not be the best option because the nation may lose the best hands `in the agency while trying to do away with the bad eggs among them.”

He maintained that sacking without prosecution does not send a strong message to others.

The number three citizen said as representatives of the people, they have the apparatus, jurisdiction and mandate to review laws governing the operations and establishment of agencies.

The upper legislative chamber equally asked the panels to probe human right abuses by security organisations, even as it urged the affected agencies to open hotlines through which Nigerians could report activities of their agents.

Besides, it wants a bureau that monitors the conduct of security operatives, arrest and trial of erring ones.

The Senate also ordered the relevant committee to convene a stakeholders’ meeting on implementation of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund Act 2019.

It commended inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu for his swift response, urging him to review the mandate of the tactical squad with a view to permanently restricting its interference on the daily engagements of Nigerians.

IN the same vein, the House of Representatives has reprimanded SARS personnel for rights violations.

Adopting a motion sponsored yesterday by Leader of the House, Alhassan Doguwa, at plenary presided over by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, the lawmakers directed the IGP to immediately end the brutality in addition to producing a comprehensive record of disciplinary or judicial action against officers accused of abuse of power in the past five years.

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They also directed the police chief to produce an immediate plan for identifying and compensating victims.

The Green Chamber also resolved to replace Section 215(5) of the constitution with provisions that ensure judicial review of police actions.

BESIDES, the Police Service Commission (PSC) said it would closely monitor activities of the Federal and State Armed Robbery Squads (FSARS) and other special units attached to the office of the IGP.

In a statement yesterday by its spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, the commission vowed prompt punishment for deviants, adding that it would not allow a few outlaws to tarnish the image of the force.

Also yesterday, a group, Concerned Nigerian Youths, protested in Ibadan, Oyo State against the existence of the special police squad.

Speaking through the Coordinator for Coalition for #Revolution Now in the state, Comrade Solomon Emiola, the protesters argued that the steps taken by the police authorities were not satisfactory.

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