By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have signed an agreement to assist persons with complaints of human rights violations against the defunct Special Anti-Rubbery Squad (SARS) and other Tactical Units of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
The agencies will address the concerns at sittings of the Independent Investigative Panel (IIP) on allegations of human rights violations against the Squad.
Executive Secretary of NHRC Tony Ojukwu and the President of the NBA Olumide Akpata, according to a press statement signed by Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Hajia Fatima Agwai Mohammed, both signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to affirm their determination to assist victims of human rights violations by some personnel of the NPF.
Ojukwu noted that” the activities of the defunct SARS have impacted negatively on the enjoyment of human rights of some citizens who also encounter difficulties in seeking justice for the violations of their rights (by SARS), thereby making them suffer double jeopardy”.
He expressed the Commission’s readiness to “work with the NBA to ensure that no action is spared in entrenching respect for human rights in Nigeria, the human rights Boss said it has become imperative to render all the necessary support to ensure that victims of a human rights violation by law enforcement agents get justice”.
On his part, the NBA President said: “The NBA and the NHRC are natural partners, and the protection of the rights of Nigerians sits in the heart of the mandate of the NBA”.
He assured that “the NBA will do everything within its powers to provide support for victims and their families. He said the Bar Association would act as amicus curiae during the Panel sitting in order to lend their professional guidance and ensure that the sittings are conducted across the country in accordance with the provisions of the law”.
They called on” the law enforcement agents to operate within the ambits of the law when carrying out the arrest of people allegedly associated with the looting occasioned by the EndSARS protest. They warned against the miscarriage of justice, saying similar situations gave rise to the EndSARS protest”.