NHRC Independent Investigation panel resumes sitting, March 1

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday stated that its Independent Investigation panel would resume sitting on March 1.

This is contained in a notice signed by Mrs Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, Deputy Director, Public Affairs.

Newsmen reports that the panel is investigating the violations of human rights by defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.

The panel was set up by the Federal Government in November 2020, following the ”#EndSARS Protest” which was triggered by nationwide allegations of Police brutality.

According to Agwai- Mohammed, ‘the Anti-Robbery Squad (IIP-SARS) will on Tuesday continue its sitting’.

“Although the Commission awarded monetary compensation to the families and victims of police brutality in December, as part of recommendations by the panel, there are several cases yet to be concluded.

“It would be recalled that 297 petitions were received across the country bothering on illegal arrest and detention, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment, extra-judicial killing, etc.

“Out of these cases, 25 were struck out, 12 were withdrawn, 1 was dismissed, 75 cases had panel decisions, and 20 cases were slated for monetary compensation which has since been awarded by the Commission,” she stated.

She added that the panel adjourned sine die due to lack of funding to continue with the remaining cases.

According to her, the Commission was able to acquire some funds for the panel to continue sitting.

“The panel is expected to sit for an initial period of six weeks (with breaks at intervals) to hear a total of 92 cases. 29 general cases, 12 part-heard cases, and 51 cases involving judgment debts.

“The Commission is using this medium to seek the support and cooperation of the police and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that perpetrators of police brutality are made to face the wrath of the law,” she added.

Newsmen reports that the panel on Dec. 23, 2021 had adjourned sitting indefinitely.

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