The leadership of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has invited the Executive Chairman of the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), Comrade Adeniyi, A Sulaiman to attend public hearings on right abuses by the police personnel across the country.
In a notice marked NHRC/PSARS/2018/OG/4 signed by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu issued on Thursday 1st of November, 2018 the five-day hearing is expected to hold between tomorrow, Tuesday 13th and Saturday 17th of November, 2018 in Lagos.
Ojukwu who stated that the event is expected to address all the petitions against police personnel across the six states making up the South West zone added that the hearing is expected to take place at the premises of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, Lagos will commenced by 9 am prompt everyday during the duration of the exercise.
According to the statement by the commission, the invitation is to address issues between CHRSJ (acting on behalf of one Sunday Adetiba & family) and FSARS, Magbon, Abeokuta, the Ogun State Police Command and the Inspector—General of Police.
The rights group had in the past written a petition to the commission over the plight of Adetiba who had been wounded by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Magbon Abeokuta after having been detained illegally for months before his eventual release by the court.
While stating that the petition has been assigned to an official, the notice added that “You are hereby required to appear in person and bring your witnesses (if any) or through a legal practitioner of your choice or any other authorized representative before this commission on the 13-17, November.”
In his reaction, Sulaiman who expressed his desire to personally attend the events stated that the platform would provide the group the opportunity to prove the veracity of all petitions that have been forwarded to the commission cataloguing the series of abuses against Nigerians by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
“We are very happy that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has given us the opportunity to prove the veracity of all the allegations we have made against operatives of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), particularly those attached to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abeokuta, Ogun State. We are also going to highlight the nefarious activities of SARS operatives in Osun and Lagos states who have been terrorizing innocent citizens of their respective states where they are operating in.” Sulaiman stated.
Commenting further, he stated that “Apart from the case of Sunday Adetiba against officers, Ogedengbe and Wole of the FSARS in Magbon, Abeokuta. We also have some other officers in other South West states such as Osun and Lagos states where right abuses have taken place.”
He also stated that some other officers attached to FSARS in Abeokuta have also been identified as breaching the ethics of their profession and those that have been petitioned are Swagger, Raufu, Bullet and Tee Jay.
He stated that in Osun State, the group has reported some police officers, namely Sunday Olooto, Fatai Raji and one other simply known as Saka whose nickname is said to be team leader to the commission for necessary action.
“In Lagos, we have reported an officer who is simply known as Success Pilot who fired gunshot on two innocent citizens, Henry Palmer and Isaiah Olagunju whom he later sent to jail over frivolous and trumped up allegations that he leveled against them on Monday 22ndof May, 2017. Till today, these innocent citizens are still languishing in prison.
“We also have issues with one officer Lanre attached to Sango Police Area Command, who lied against one Joshua Chibogu whom he tortured extra-judicially on Saturday 23rd, September, 2017 before the group secured his release.” He said.
Expressing the resolve of the group to substantiate its claims against these personnel, Sulaiman stated that “We are battle ready to appear before the commission and we are using this opportunity to appeal to the victims to come forward to state their cases at the hearing. Their attendance is highly desirable as platforms like this are veritable avenue for curbing impunity and arbitrariness in the force.”