By Femi Ogunshola
Abuja, Oct. 12, 2020 The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to the call by some Nigerians to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
He also said that the House would go ahead with police reforms bill before it.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi, said that the dissolution of SARS was a necessary response by the government to the outcry arising from its multiple documented excesses.
He commended Nigerians, particularly the youth home and abroad, who saw a wrong and sought to make it right, who saw injustice and acted to put an end to it.
According to him, the dissolution of SARS and the broader, ongoing reforms of the police that will follow, are a testament to the passion and resilience of a generation of Nigerians.
He said the generation was determined not to accept or tolerate injustice in whatever form.
The Speaker called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu to take practical steps to support and enforce the policy pronouncement.
“These steps are necessary to assure the Nigerian people that the dissolution of the SARS is sincere and well-intentioned, and not merely meant to quell the ongoing protests across the country.
“The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) must also act to identify and punish those operatives of SARS involved in the most severe cases of abuse of rights, brutality and murder.”
Gbajabiamila noted with displeasure the police’s manhandling of some protesters who came out in numbers to protest peacefully.
The Speaker assured Nigerians that the dissolution of SARS would not preclude the ongoing efforts by the House to effect reforms of the police through legislation.
He said there was a pressing need to have an independent system for monitoring police actions and holding police officers to proper account for failures to follow the law and the police code.
“The House will continue its work to legislate lasting solutions to the problems of policing in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila said the House would meet with the leadership of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Nigerian Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and select Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for joint efforts at developing a legislative proposal.
“Whatever legislation emerges from this collaboration will be presented to the House within a 30-day timeline at the special session of the House on Wednesday,” he said.
By Femi Ogunshola