EndSARS: Obiano sets up panel to investigate human rights abuses in Anambra

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GOV. Willie Obiano
GOV. Willie Obiano

By Anayo Ezugwu

GOVERNOR Willie Obiano of Anambra State has set up a panel to look into reports of abuse of human rights by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, in the state over the years. He said the panel will enable the state to create a more humane social order in the state.

Speaking in a meeting with Nigerian youths in the state on Thursday, October 15, Obiano said the panel would complete its job within 30 days. He also appointed Justice V. N, Umeh, (retired) as the head of the panel. The members comprise the following: a representative of the Association of Anambra State Students; three youth leaders from the three senatorial zones in the state; a member of the National Youth Service Corps in the state; Anambra State chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation; and chairman, Anambra Civil Society Network.

Others are chairman of the Youth Council of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter; a representative of the Youth Wing of the Ohaneze NdIgbo, Anambra State; chairman of the Youth Wing of the Anambra Town Unions, ASATU; chairman of the Christian Association, Anambra State; a nominee of the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of the Niger; a nominee of the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha; a representative of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Anambra State; the Chairman of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council; the Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice; the Commissioner for Youth & Creative Economy; the two youngest members of the State Executive Council; and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Creative Security.

Obiano said the panel would look into allegations of extrajudicial killings by a former head of the SARS office in the state, Chief Superintendent of Police James Nwafor (retired), whose appointment as a Special Assistant to the Governor has since been terminated. He promised that Nwafor will face prosecution if found guilty of any of the alleged offences. He also directed the Commissioner of Police in the state to review all detentions in not just the SARS facilities in the state, but also in all police formations to ensure that the freedom and dignity of all citizens are upheld at all times.

He used the opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for disbanding SARS in accordance with the wishes of Nigerian youths and also for acceding to their four requests for a better police force.

– Oct. 15 2020 @ 16:55 GMT |

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