Former Head of Akwusu Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit retired Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) James Nwafor has failed to honour the invitation of the Anambra state Judicial panel of Inquiry.
The Judicial panel had on November 27 written and invited the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu, while also summoning ex-SARS boss in Anambra, CSP James Nwafor to appear before the panel on Tuesday, but both men failed to show up.
While reacting to Nwafor’s absence amidst request from Abdul Mahmud Esq., legal representative of Obiora Akabike to order the arrest of Nwafor, the panel said that the panels unlike courts have no powers to order arrest. They can only listen to the petitions, probe and make recommendations.
Justice Veronica Umeh, Chairman of the panel said “Our mandate is to listen to petitions, investigate and recommend compensation for victims of police brutality.”
In October, thousands of Nigerians marched in Lagos and other cities to demand an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, a police unit accused of extrajudicial killings and abuses.
During the protest, James Nwafor was accused of numerous extrajudicial killings and human right violations. The claims prompted his sack by the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano and James was rumoured to have absconded Nigeria.
The State Investigative Judicial panel of Inquiry were created following the October EndSARS protests where thousands of Nigerian youths marched to demand an end to police brutality and seek the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the police.
The Federal government directed state governments to look into these numerous allegations of police brutality and the human right violation complaints.
This panel of inquiry would follow less strict rules than that of the court and at the end of the sitting, they would make judgements and submit their recommendations to the state government.
Following the directive, the Lagos State government, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Anambra, Rivers, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa, Enugu Ebonyi, Benue and Cross River State government all set up a panel of inquiry to look into the allegations of violations.