20 October 2020 By VICTORIA ABAH
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has received a list of 35 operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, who have been recommended for prosecution and outright dismissal from the Nigeria Police Force.
The list of the indicted SARS operatives, drawn from 12 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, were handed to the AGF at the Federal Ministry of Justice Headquarters in Abuja, by a team led by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Mr. Tony Ojukwu.
The NHRC boss told newsmen that the affected SARS officers were found culpable of offences that ranging from alleged extra-judicial killings, unlawful arrest and detention, threat and intimidation, unfounded allegations, seizure of properties and illegal blockage of accounts of innocent citizens.
Meanwhile, aside from the 35 erstwhile SARS operatives that were okayed for trial and dismissal, the report also recommended reduction in rank of 24 others for their alleged involvement in gross violation of human rights.
It further recommended the payment of compensation ranging from N500, 000 to N20million to victims and families of deceased victims.
While some of the indicted SARS operatives were directed to personally pay the compensation, the Nigeria Police was also found liable and asked to pay some of the victims and more so, the NPF was directed through Newspaper publications to tender apology to some of the victims.
Specifically, the document covered reported infractions of SARS operatives in Lagos, Imo, Akwa-Ibom, Benue, Enugu, FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun and Rivers State.
Receiving the report, the AGF, said the Federal Government would appraise it holistically with a view to ensuring that justice was done to all the parties involved, adding that it was in furtherance of the move to enhance operations and welfare of the Police that the Police Trust Fund was established
He said President Buhari was not only moving to effect the desired reforms in the Police, but had also taken steps to swiftly provide the necessary policy support to ensure that injustice was addressed.