NEWS

Police to Sack 37 SARS officers, prosecute 24 others for Misconduct

NEWSMAN, Abuja – At least 37 former members of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have been enlisted for dismissal from service, while 24 other ex-SARS operatives will be prosecuted for various acts of professional misconduct.

These were the highlights of the Report of the Presidential Panel on Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad set up by the Federal Government in 2018 to reform the dreaded unit.

The presidential panel had, among other things, investigated allegations of human rights violations and abuse of office against SARS and recommended reform or restructuring of the outfit.

Presenting the report to the Police Service Commission (PSC) Chairman, Musiliu Smith, in Abuja on Friday, Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, called for a speedy implementation of the panel recommendations.

In a statement by the Police Service Commission (PSC) spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, Ojukwu observed that the PSC chairman has all it takes to deal appropriately with the report of the panel.

He noted that the panel called for and received 113 complaints on alleged human rights violations from across the country and 22 memoranda on suggestions on how to reform and restructure SARS and the Nigeria Police Force in general.

“The panel also directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of 22 officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens.”

The statement said, “Ojukwu said at the end of the public hearing, the panel recommended 37 police officers for dismissal and 24 were recommended for prosecution.

Receiving a copy of the report, Smith said the PSC would collaborate and support the NHRC in the promotion of good governance.

He, however, said that for effective reform of “the much-maligned SARS,” there must be a deliberate effort to select capable, professional and credible people to replace the disbanded outfit.

“There must also be close supervision of the newly selected officers so that the nation will not experience the rot that became the fate of the disbanded unit, Any misconduct, he noted, should be severely and promptly handled”, Smith stated.

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