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- Create Date December 7, 2020
- Last Updated June 17, 2021
30th November - 5th December 2020
This reporting week witnessed more petitioners approaching the Panels with evidence of their horrid experiences with officers of the law who abused and tortured them leaving some with permanent injuries and some dead. The Judicial Panels in some of the states have remained consistent in holding their weekly sittings and listening to petitioners despite the lack of cooperation by some members of the Police Force who have declined to appear as defendants before the Panels. This questions the sincerity and integrity of the Nigerian Police.
The Nigeria Police has also filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, issuing an order to "stop the various states" Judicial Panels of Inquiry probing allegations of rights, abuses and other acts of the brutality of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units. Yiaga Africa and Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria strongly condemn this action by the Police as a major move to continue a system of impunity that has enabled flagrant abuse of fundamental rights and extrajudicial killings. The Inspector-General of Police has a duty to ensure that the suit which was allegedly filed without his notice is truly withdrawn per the motion filed on 3rd December, 2020 to enable the Panels to perform their duties without any form of interference.
In the week under review, Yiaga Africa’s independent citizen observers continued to attend the Panel hearings. As the sittings of the Judicial Panels of Inquiry continue in 25 states, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara States are yet to set up panels. It is also important to note that Oyo, Bayelsa, Kaduna and Kogi States are yet to commence sittings. It is important that the respective states establish their Panels and commence sittings to ensure that the efforts to respond to the plight of victims of police brutality are not undermined.