Promises Police Reform
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for yielding to the demand of Nigerians to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Gbajabiamila reacted through a statement by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi.
The Speaker also commended “Nigerians, particularly the millions of young people at home and abroad, who saw a wrong and sought to make it right, who saw injustice and acted to put an end to it”.
According to him, “the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and the broader, ongoing reforms of the police that will follow, are a testament to the passion and resilience of a generation of Nigerians who determined not to accept or tolerate injustice in whatever form it takes”.
The Speaker called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar Adamu” to take practical steps to support and enforce this policy pronouncement”.
He said: “These steps are necessary to assure the Nigerian people that the announced dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is sincere and well-intentioned, and not merely meant to quell the ongoing protests across the country.
“The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) must also act to identify and punish those operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) involved in the most severe cases of abuse of rights, brutality, and murder of Nigerian citizens.”
Gbajabiamila observed, “with displeasure, the police’s manhandling of some protesters, who came out in numbers to protest peacefully”.
He assured “all Nigerians that the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will not preclude the ongoing efforts by the House of Representatives to effect reforms of the police through legislation.
“There is still a pressing need to have an independent system for monitoring police actions and holding police officers to proper account for failures to follow the law and the police code. The House will continue its work to legislate lasting solutions to the problems of policing in Nigeria.”
He said “In support of these efforts, the House will this week meet with the national leadership of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the Nigerian Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and select civil society organisations to begin joint efforts at developing a legislative proposal.
“Whatever legislation emerges from this collaboration will be presented to the House within the 30-day timeline announced by Speaker Gbajabiamila at the special session of the House of Representatives on Wednesday 7th October 2020.”
The House on Wednesday rose against the brutality of SARS officers, passing some vital resolutions on the matter and demanded the IGP to take decisive action against the brutality and human rights violation by SARS officers and report the said action to the Green Chamber within three weeks.