The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has filed a suit seeking to stop the judicial panels of inquiry set up by state governors to probe allegations of police brutality and human rights abuses of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units.
The lawsuit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1492/2020, was filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The NPF, through their lawyer, Mr. O. M. Atoyebi, 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.
In the suit, the plaintiff 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 focussing on police impunity.
The police force argued that the state governments’ decision to set up such panels violated the 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.
It argued that by virtue of the provisions of 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution only the Federal Government had exclusive power to “organise, control and administer the Nigeria Police Force.”
According to reports, the defendants include the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja, the Attorneys-General of the states, and chairmen of the states’ panels.