#EndSARS – Nigerian Police Force Requests The Federal High Court To End All Judicial Panels

In October, young Nigerians raised their voice against the terrible state of the Nigerian Police and their Anti Crime Unit (SARS), the brutality they faced daily, and how they’ve been constantly disappointed by the government who never has a real plan for change or necessary steps to help make the lives of Nigerians better than it is now, instead they act on decisions that protect their own interests and pockets, an example would be the #LekkiMassacre, a day #ENDSARS protesters were shot down by the army and police for speaking against police brutality during.

The government once again failed to take action or any claim of the situation, instead, the Lagos State Government inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality in the state as the protests continue. This was disclosed by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who cited Section 5 of Tribunals of Inquiry Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 as a legal justification to set up the panel.

The panels have been going on every day and with each hearing, more stories are brought to the mainstream on the depth of police brutality that was occurring and how constant and rapid it was. Although a lot of people feel the panels will not inspire any real change, it’s still alarming to see the number of cases caused by the SARS unit and other police officials.

In a typical act of cowardice, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, requesting an order to end proceedings by all judicial panels of inquiry across the 36 states probing allegations of police brutality and abuse of power by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.⠀

The plaintiff in the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020 asked that the courts declare the various governors’ decision to establish judicial panels: ‘unconstitutional, illegal, null and void, and of no effect whatsoever’. They also want the court to restrain the attorney-generals of all 36 states and prevent them from ‘making or conducting any investigations, sittings and inquiries’ into matters affecting the NPF, and ban them from setting up further judicial panels of inquiry anywhere in Nigeria.

The case has been submitted to the court and is set to be heard on 18th December. The defendants, totaling 104, who were sued by the NPF comprised the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Human Rights Commission which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja, the Attorneys-General of the states, and chairmen of the states’ panels.

Nigerians have taken to Twitter to react to the move by the Police Force. See some tweets below.

https://twitter.com/heisTactic/status/1334536882978516995?s=20

Adedayo Laketu

Adedayo Laketu is a creative inventor who's interested in curating a New Age for Africa across all mediums.

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