By Ahmed Ubandoma
Abuja – The Chairman of the President Panel on Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), reform, Mr Tony Ojukwu, said that the essence of the panel was to ascertain the truth on the allegations of human rights violations by members of the Public.
Ojukwu said this while addressing newsmen shortly after public hearing organised by presidential panel on SARS reform in the North Central on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said issues of human rights abuses were raised during the public hearing.
According to him, such issues remain allegations until the panel concludes its assignment to ascertain the facts of the matter.
“ Like the issue which was pointed out that a person had been detained for more than one year and we requested the person be brought to the panel so that we can see his condition.
“ We also learned that some vehicles that were recovered by SARS were auctioned without following due process.
“We also had cases where it is said that SARS stormed some people’s compounds because of boyfriend and girlfriend relationship.
“ But all these remain allegations until the panel determines the truth of the cases,’’ he said.
Ojukwu, however, said that the panel would only entertain cases that were not before a court of competent jurisdiction.
He further said that the public hearing was aimed at discouraging any form of impunity against the people of Nigeria.
“ So, a public hearing like this is very important if we are to discourage impunity.
“ So, we urged the media and other stakeholders to cooperate with the panel to discourage any form of human rights violations,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Presidential Panel on SARS reform was set up by the Federal Government to investigate the allegations of human rights abuses by the men of Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The panel is to make useful recommendations to the Federal Government on the way forward (NAN).