Due to the sustained #EndSARS protests, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday, October 16, constituted an 11-man Independent Investigative Panel (IIP) to look into allegations of human rights violations levelled against the operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigeria Police Force.
This mandate to redress the yearnings of the #EndSARS protesters was contained in a statement issued by the NHRC Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu in Abuja.
Ojukwu explained that the panel will hear petitions; complaints; as well as memoranda from Nigerians across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
The committee headed by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima, is expected to make recommendations to the federal government on how best to reform SARS and other units of the Force.
Other members of the committee include: Other members of the Panel are: Abdulrahaman Yakubu, Yemi Ademolakun, Chioma Chuka, Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa, Tijani Mohammed, Dr. Uju Agomoh, DIG Ibrahim Lamorde, Dr. Garba Tetengi, Feyikemi Abudu, John Aikpokpo Martins, Hilary Ogbonna.
“The panel is empowered as well to make recommendations to government on measures to be taken; in respect of operatives of defunct SARS or officers of the Nigerian Police Force, if any, found in violation of human rights of citizens; and propose remedial steps that may enhance the professional conduct of defunct SARS operatives; any succeeding unit and also other members of the Nigerian Police Force; as well as any other recommendations that may be considered appropriate,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday, October 16, issued a heartfelt apology to #EndSARS protesters and Nigerians regarding the apparent silence of the Federal Government towards addressing the demands of the youths.
Osinbajo made this appeal via a series of tweets on his Twitter handle.
“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster; and for this we are sorry,” he said in a series of tweets on his handle late Friday.
“I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent; and have also simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.”