By Ibrahim Kado
Gombe – The Presidential Panel on Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) reform has appealed to Inspector-General of Police to ensure all complainants before the panel are not molested in anyway by SARS/ Police officers whose cases are before the panel.
Mr Tony Ojukwu, Chairman of the panel and Secretary National Human Rights Commission, made the plea at the public hearing on alleged human rights violation by SARS of the Nigeria Police Force, North East Zone on Wednesday in Gombe.
He assured that the panel and the commission would adhere to the principles of fair hearing in discharging its functions.
Ojukwu said that the essence of the public hearing was to increase access of Nigerians to the services of the commission.
“The public hearing is also to provide opportunities for fair hearing to both complainants and alleged violators and to mainstream human rights norms and tenets into the operations and administration of SARS in line with global practice and internationally accepted human rights standard,” he said.
He further said that this would provide stakeholders opportunities to contribute ideas on best ways to run SARS and Nigeria Police Force.
Ojukwu commended the complainants and the public for their courage of lodging their complaints and submission of memoranda to the panel.
Mr Chidama Yakubu, Vice Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), commended the Federal Government for constituting the panel.
He said the exercise would enable the panel to hear everything on human rights violation.
Yakubu described the panel as first of its kind in the country for the protection of human rights.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the penal received three cases and adjourned to Thursday for hearin.