IGP Adamu disowns suit against judicial panels, queries police legal officer

December 4, 2020
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<!– IGP Mohammed Adamu: dissociates Police from suit challenging judicial panels on SARS –>

IGP Mohammed Adamu: dissociates Police from suit challenging judicial panels on SARS

The Nigerian Police have dissociated themselves from a suit challenging the legality of judicial panels of inquiry set up by state governors to probe the atrocities of the disbanded Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS).

According to a statement by Police spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed immediate investigations into the suit.

Even though the suit was not inspired by Adamu’s office, the police statement indicated that it came from the Legal Department.

Mba said the Force Legal Officer has been queried and may face further sanctions if found guilty of dereliction of duty.

Mba said Adamu has 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.

“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”, Mba said.

In a suit that was billed for hearing on Thursday, the police prayed the court to stop the judicial panels of inquiry set up by state governors to probe police atrocities.

The suit was filed by NPF lawyer, Mr. O. M. Atoyebi.

It claims that state governors do not have the power to constitute the panels to investigate activities of the police force and its officials as they conducted their statutory duties.

In the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020, the police asked the court to restrain the Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation and panels of inquiry from going ahead with the probe focusing on police brutality.

The police claimed that the panels violated 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.

It argued that by the provisions of 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution only the Federal Government has exclusive power to “organise, control and administer the Nigeria Police Force”.

The NPF said the action of the State Governors “is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

The case has been rescheduled for hearing on 18 December.

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