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House gives stern directive to IGP, to commence police reforms

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to calls to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Mr Gbajabiamila said in a statement that the dissolution was a necessary response by the government to the outcry arising from multiple documented excesses of the SARS across the country.

The speaker also commended Nigerians youth for acting to right a wrong.

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, he said.

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 is sincere and well-intentioned, and not merely meant to quell the ongoing protests.

Police must also act to identify and punish operatives of SARS involved in the most severe cases of abuse of rights, brutality and murder of Nigerian citizens.”

Gbajabiamila noted with displeasure the police’s manhandling of peaceful protesters.

The Speaker assured Nigerians that the dissolution of SARS would not preclude the ongoing efforts by the House of Representatives to effect reforms of the police through legislation.

House against police brutality

The House had on Wednesday rose against brutality of SARS officers, passing resolutions on the matter and demanded the IGP to take decisive action and report back within three weeks.

The lawmakers also requested the police chief to produce a comprehensive record of disciplinary and judicial action taken against the officers accused of abuse of power in the past five years.

The House asked the IGP to produce an immediate plan for identifying and compensating victims.

IBRAHIM SHEHU

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