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News - January 15, 2019

Human rights commission receives 103 complaints against SARS

More than a hundred complaints against officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has been received by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The commission said that, the complaints bothers on human rights abuses.

According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu, reported that the complaints were received by the Presidential Panel on SARS.

Ojukwu, who doubles as the chairman of the presidential panel, said this at the second sitting of the panel for the North-Central zone held at FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja.

“Out of this number, the panel received 37 complaints from the North-Central zone, 37 from the South-West, 16 from the South-South, 9 from the South-East, 3 from the North-East and 1 complaint from the North-West,” Ojukwu said.

He said that hearing had been concluded on 51 complaints, while 52 complaints were still pending, adding that out of the 52 pending cases, 29 were part heard, while 23 were fresh complaints

The NHRC boss said that the public hearing of the Presidential Investigation Panel on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has yielded remarkable positive results in the Squad’s operations.

He said that the public hearings also serve as an avenue to sensitise public and SARS operatives.

According to him, there were instances the panel was informed that after getting hearing notice, some SARS operatives alleged to have violated human rights reached out to victims for settlements.

“It is interesting to note that the public hearing of the presidential panel on alleged cases of human rights violations against SARS has started yielding some remarkable positive results in the way SARS operatives now carry out their operations,” he said.

He pointed that some of the challenges of the panel include failure of complainants to appear before the panel due to victimisation, intimidation and threats issued to them by some SARS operatives and unwillingness of complainants to appear despite assurances of their safety by the panel, among others.

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