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Police IG Disowns Suit Challenging Legality Of States' Judicial Panels Set Up After #EndSARS Protest

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has disowned the suit challenging the legality of the states’ judicial panels of inquiry investigating allegations against officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

He directed an immediate investigation into the lawsuit and the alleged role of the Force Legal Section, including its head, CP Tuesday Assayomo.

The IG also expressed the disapproval of the Force Management Team on the matter.

The police had in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020, filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, sought to quash the panels across all states, describing them as unconstitutional.

Police lawyers, led by Oyetola Atoyebi (SAN), said states had no powers to hear allegations of wrongdoings against police officers, noting that only the Nigeria Police Force could handle personnel issues.

The force described the probe as “a violation of the provisions of Section 241 (1)(2) (a) and Item 45, Part 1, First schedule, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, Cap.T21, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

But the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that the force management did not authorise the legal challenge.

He disclosed that Assayomo, who had been queried, might face further sanctions if found guilty of dereliction of duty.

The statement was titled: ‘EndSARS: IGP orders investigation into alleged suit touching on states’ judicial panels of inquiry’.

It read in part, “The IGP reiterates the commitment of the Force to fulfilling all its obligations with regards to the disbandment of the defunct SARS, the ongoing judicial panels and all other police reforms.”

Meanwhile, the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Ondo State Government started sitting in Akure on Thursday.

The nine-man panel headed Justice Adeola Sidiq (retd.) disclosed that a total of 32 petitions had been received.

Justice Sidiq said, “As we sit today, 32 petitions have been received from members of the public. We shall continue to receive petitions as we intend to accord everyone an equal opportunity to attain justice as long as they are ready to pursue it before this panel.

“The panel will be sitting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until it becomes necessary to increase the number of days.”

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