Police withdraw suit seeking to stop judicial panels’ probe

Police withdraw suit seeking to stop judicial panels’ probe

The Nigeria police force (NPF) has applied to withdraw the suit against the judicial panels set up to probe allegations of brutality and human rig

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The Nigeria police force (NPF) has applied to withdraw the suit against the judicial panels set up to probe allegations of brutality and human rights abuses against the force.

In a suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/1492/2020 and filed by O.M Atoyebi, police counsel, the force had argued that the establishment of panels of inquiry by the state governors to investigate its activities was illegal and unconstitutional.

It asked the court to restrain the defendants from conducting any investigation to probe the affairs of the security agency.

Among the defendants are the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the attorneys-general of the states, and chairmen of the panels set up by the states.

In the suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/1492/2020 and filed by O.M Atoyebi, police counsel, the force argued that the establishment of panels of inquiry by the state governors to investigate its activities violates “section 241(1)(2)(a) and item 45, part 1, first schedule to the constitution and section 21 of the tribunals of inquiry act”.

The police force said the action of the governors “is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.

It asked the court to restrain the defendants from conducting any investigation or setting up panels to probe the affairs of the security agency.

“A declaration that having regard to the provisions of Section a14 (1)(2) (a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Federal Government of Nigeria has the exclusive power to organise, control and administer the Nigeria Police Force,” the suit read in part.

But reacting, Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), expressed his disapproval and ordered an investigation of the suit.

He said the force is committed to fulfilling all its obligations with regard to the disbandment of the defunct SARS, adding that the officer responsible for the suit has been queried and may be sanctioned “if found guilty of dereliction of duty”.

In a notice of discontinuance filed by Festus Ibude, police counsel, on Friday, the security agency said it wishes to withdraw the suit against all the defendants.
“Take notice that the plaintiff herein intends to and doth hereby wholly withdraws its suit against all the defendants,” the notice read.