The Independent Investigative Panel on Alleged Human Rights Violations by the Defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other Units of the Nigeria Police (IIP-SARS) on Thursday expressed dismay over the absence of the Nigeria Police legal team before the Panel sitting in Abuja.
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.
The Secretary of the Abuja Panel who also doubles as the Human Rights Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Hillary Ogbonna, expressed the disappointment of the panel while briefing newsmen on the failure of police to be present at the panel sitting on the 3rd day of the resumed sitting in 2022.
Ogbonna expressed surprise that no member of the police legal team was present at the panel in spite of the efforts by the panel to deliver its assigned tasks at a stipulated period.
“If this non-punctuality attitude of the police becomes a pattern it is capable of bringing setback to the mandate of the panel”
“The panel will continue to engage the police authority and other stakeholders to seek their cooperation to ensure that justice is done to the victims of police brutality.
However, he said “the records of the entire proceedings especially today’s will be given to the police without any charge”.
11 cases of various degrees of human rights violations were slated for hearing and none of them had police representation.