Following directives by President Muhammadu Buhari on dissolution of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and immediate response to yearnings of citizens, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, convened a meeting with stakeholders, agreeing to meet demands, which include halting use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens.
After days of sustained protests, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, earlier this week dissolved the notorious SARS unit following its history of abuse of power and mandate.
Meanwhile, protests already scheduled for this week have gone ahead with more planned as protesters are pressing for more comprehensive police reform.
The presidency announced in a statement on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 that the panel has approved the fresh demands after a multi-stakeholders meeting.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide report that, Femi Adesina, the panel has reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest and further affirmed the sanctity of life of every Nigerian and the role of the Police in protecting them.
NTA reports that following directives by President Muhammadu Buhari on the dissolution of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and immediate response to the yearnings of citizens, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has convened a meeting with the concerned stakeholders.
However, Informationdrillers.com gathered that the panel agreed to meet demands, which include halting the use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens.
A communiqué of stakeholders’ meeting on the implementation of the recommendations of the presidential panel on the reform of the SARS said:
“Following the public protests regarding various forms of human rights violations by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the consequent disbandment of the unit by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, there arose the need for stakeholder engagement to build trust and restore public confidence in law enforcement.
“The forum collectively welcomed the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest; further affirmed the sanctity of life of every Nigerian and the role of the police in protecting this right; Affirms that the five-point demands of the protesters and the ENDSARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the Government.’’
Following the forum in a communiqué which was signed by the IGP and the executive secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, noted that the dissolution of SARS presents an opportunity to embark on comprehensive reforms aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Police Force as a modern, responsive and citizens-centred law enforcement organisation.
The communiqué read that, “The forum further notes that the proposed reforms should be anchored under the basis of the White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad which was jointly authored by the National Human Rights Commission, the Federal Ministry of Justice, and the Nigeria Police Force.
“The forum affirms that reform proposals for the Nigerian Police Force will be based on Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and existing legislations such as the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act, 2019, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, and the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2010 amongst others.
The panel had first presented a report on SARS reform to President Buhari on June 3, 2019.
The president had directedAdamu to work out the modalities for the implementation of the report within 3 months .
The panel said in Tuesday’s statement the proposed reforms will be anchored on the basis of the White Paper on the report submitted last year.