The Chairman of the Presidential Investigation Panel (PIP) on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr. Tony Ojukwu has expressed concern on the activities of some security personnel whom he said exhibit a high level of unprofessional conduct in handling civil matters reported before them.
The Chairman who is also the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission noted that the unprofessional conduct of some of the law enforcement agents has contributed to congestion in Police cells, prisons and other detention centres across the country as civil cases are viewed as criminal matters leading to unnecessary detention of victims.
Ojukwu cautioned lawyers to always advise their clients against turning civil cases like breach of contract to criminal matters, so as not to jeopardize their integrity.
He also urged members of SARS to always act within the ambit of the law in discharging their official duties recalling that there are scores of petitions on human rights violations before the National Human Rights Commission against SARS.
In a related development, the Panel has ordered that a representative of the Governor of Gombe State who is a nominal complainant in the case of alleged, “Police gruesome torture and murder of John Okon between 8th -13th day of November, 2018”, to appear before it on Monday to give necessary information that could assist the Panel unearth the truth in the matter.
Mr. John Okon was alleged to have died on 13th day of November, 2018 as a result of serial multiply beatings and torture while in the custody SARS headed by one SP Jummai of Anti-Crime Department, Gabasawa, Police Headquarters Kaduna state.
The Panel also received a copy of an autopsy report on the deceased which was conducted by a team of experts led by Dr. Godwin Iko Ayuba. The report indicated that Mr. Okon died of anemic heart failure complicated by nutritional neglect and multiple traumatic injuries etc.
Similarly, the Panel charged some SARS members in Guzape Police station to ensure the safety of one Mr. Peter Akuje. He had earlier told the panel that he was afraid to return to his house for fear of arrest by the Police.
A complaint of criminal breach of trust and fraudulent conversion of fund was brought against Mr. Akuje for which he was allegedly detained and tortured unlawfully.