Community Police: Local Vigilante Will Not Bear Arms – Police Insists

The Nigeria Police Force has filed a suit in the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking an order to stop the various states’ judicial panels of inquiry probing allegations of rights abuses by the police.

The suit filed Thursday is with respect to the investigation of acts of brutality perpetrated by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units.

In the suit, the police urged the court to restrain the Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation and their various panels of inquiry from going ahead with the probe focusing on police brutality.

The plaintiffs named about 104 defendants in the suit including the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Human Rights Commission which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja.

Others are the Attorneys-General of the states, and chairmen of the states’ panels.

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The police, through its counsel, Mr. O. M. Atoyebi (SAN), is of the view that the state governments lack the power to constitute the panels to investigate activities of the police force and its officials in the conduct of their statutory duties.


The plaintiffs maintained that the state governments’ decision to set up such panels violated provisions of Section 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act.

The plaintiff therefore asked the court to declare that the establishment of panels of inquiry by the governors of the various states into activities of the police concerning the discharge of its duties was unconstitutional.

“A declaration that having regard to the circumstances of this case, the attitude of the governors of the various states of the Federation of Nigeria, in this case, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

The plaintiffs also asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the state Attorneys-General of the 36 states from making or conducting any investigations, sittings, and inquiries and from making or conducting any further investigations, sittings and inquiries in respect of matters affecting the police.

No date has however, been fixed for hearing.

NAN