The Presidency has debunked reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of State and Local Government police across the nation.
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said Buhari on Monday received a report on the reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and that the President requested that the report be studied and a white paper produced within three months.
He said Buhari’s specific directive was that a three-man panel be set up to produce the white paper.
“The report of the white paper committee will form the basis of the decisions of the government on the many recommendations, including the setting up of state and local government police made by the Ojukwu panel.
“Until a white paper is produced, it will be premature and pre-emptive to suggest that the recommendations contained in the report have been approved by the President in part or whole,” Shehu said.
The Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission and Chairman Presidential Panel on SARS Reform, Anthony Ojukwu, on Monday, during the submission of report of the Presidential Panel on the reform of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. said the panel received 113 complaints on alleged human rights violations from across the country and 22 memoranda of suggestions on how to reform and restructure SARS and the Nigeria Police in general.
He said, “At the end of its public hearing and having listened to complaints as well as defendants and their counsel, the Panel recommended thirty seven (37) Police ofﬁcers for dismissal from the force. Twenty four (24) were recommended for prosecution.
”The panel also directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of twenty two (22) ofﬁcers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent Citizens.
“The police was directed to pay compensation of various sums in forty—ﬁve (45) complaints and tender public apologies in ﬁve (5) complaints and directed to obey court orders in ﬁve (5) matters.
“The Police was directed to immediately arrest and prosecute two (2) retired senior Police ofﬁcers found to have violated the rights of citizens (one for extra-judicial killing and the other for illegal takeover of Property of a suspect). The Panel also recovered two vehicles illegally auctioned by SARS Ofﬁcers and returned them to their owners.”
“Some other key recommendations of the Panel include,” Signiﬁcant improvement in the funding, kitting and facilities of the Nigeria Police Force; Strengthening Information and Communication Technology of the Force; Establishment of State and local government Police.”