Police withdraw suit seeking to stop #ENDSARS panels

The Nigeria Police Force has applied to withdraw its suit praying for an order stopping the various states’ judicial panels of enquiry probing allegations of rights abuses and other acts of brutality of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units.

The suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020, was filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

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The decision to set up the various panels of enquiry which was challenged in the suit was taken by the National Economic Council with members including the 36 state governors and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in the aftermath of the recent nationwide #EndSARS protests demanding an end to police brutality.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Thursday, denied authorising the filing of the suit.

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The plaintiff, therefore, through one of its lawyers, Festus Ibude, filed a notice of discontinuance of the suit on Friday.

“Take notice that the plaintiff herein intends to and do hereby wholly withdraws its suit against all the defendants,” it read.

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The plaintiff had in the suit urged the court to restrain the Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation and their various panels of enquiry from going ahead with the probe focussing on police impunity.

The defendants, totaling 104, who were sued by the NPF, comprised the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Human Rights Commission which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja, the Attorneys-General of the states, and chairmen of the states’ panels.

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The NPF, had through their lawyer, Mr O. M. Atoyebi (SAN), argued in the fresh suit that the state governments lacked the power to constitute the panels to investigate activities of the police force and its officials in the conduct of their statutory duties.

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