No evidence to prosecute 33 SARS agents – AGF committee
The Federation’s Attorney General’s Office said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute 33 agents of the disbanded Special Robbery Squad who were indicted in last year’s report by the President’s Investigation Team, Sunday PUNCH reported.
The AGF office then asked Police Inspector General Mohammed Adama to set up a “special investigation team” to conduct a “thorough investigation” of these cases.
This is stated in the report of the commission set up by AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), to consider individual cases recommended for prosecution by the Special Presidential Commission.
Our correspondent received snippets of a report from a major police source on Friday.
A presidential group led by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, examined reports of SARS atrocities between 2018 and 2019 and presented its report to President Major General Muhammad Bukhari (retired). , June 3, 2019
The report accuses a total of 35 police officers in 12 states and the metropolitan federal territory of various rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, death in police custody, unlawful arrest, partial investigation, unlawful intimidation, stalking, and criminal attacks. , torture, cruelty, inhuman and degrading treatment, threat to life, extortion and confiscation of property, among others.
The report recommends 33 prosecutions and punishments, including penalties such as demotion and dismissal.
He also recommended paying 57 victims about NIS 249 million in compensation, while the police should ask for a public apology in front of 35.
On October 19, 2020, the NHRC submitted a report to the AGF, accompanied by a specific list of persons recommended for prosecution.
But after examining the commission’s report, a committee set up by the AGF said the report “does not meet the needs of the prosecutor” because it lacks vital elements such as “medical evidence and testimony from suspects.”
He added: “The jury report does not meet the requirements of the prosecutor. All cases were not properly investigated. Acceptable evidence such as artifacts, medical evidence, testimony of suspects and witnesses that can be used in court was not obtained or recorded on the appropriate list by the suspects and witnesses by the relevant investigation team. “
The report expresses concern that the officers at fault “are still on duty and must undergo internal police disciplinary measures to avoid harassment of uniformed officers.”
It lists three actions that “need to be taken seriously” in order for the AGF office “to successfully implement the committee’s recommendations”.
Among them – the fact that the guilty officers should be disciplined and, if necessary, dismissed, while the PGI should create a special team to further investigate individual cases.
He said: “Offenders should be immediately disciplined and dismissed if necessary.
“That PGI, who is well aware of the sensitivity of the matter, should be advised to set up a dedicated investigation team to conduct a thorough investigation of individual cases.
“That, after a thorough investigation, cases that are federal or FCT crimes will be dealt with by the HAGF office, while cases that are state crimes will be referred to their respective states for prosecution.”
Meanwhile, Federation Attorney General and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice Dayo Apata (SAN) said on Wednesday that the recommendations of the commission to prosecute accused SARS agents will be followed up by the AGF office.
Apata, who represented AGF at the inaugural session of an independent human rights investigation team by members of the disbanded SARS in Abuja, said the AGF and state attorneys general have already scheduled a meeting on how to develop a prosecution strategy for cases, most of which, according to he said were crimes against the state.
He said, “The next few weeks will be full of activity. The Federation attorney general will meet with state attorneys general as some of the crimes are state crimes. ”
Source: – Punch ng