Nigerian youths have threatened to resume nationwide street protests, following the news making the rounds that the Nigeria Police Force has filed a lawsuit asking a court to stop the different EndSARS panel across Nigeria.
The EndSARS panel was set up across states by Governors, to probe allegations of police brutality and human rights abuses of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units.
According to reports, the motion asking the court to stop all EndSARS panel of inquiry was filed by the Police Force through its legal representative, Mr O. M. Atoyebi.
The force had argued in the 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 police urged the court to restrain the Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation and their various EndSARS Judicial panel of inquiry from going ahead with the probe focussing on police impunity.
According to the police, 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.
The Police 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”.
It, therefore, urged the court to declare that “the establishment of a panel of inquiries by the governors of the various states of the federation of Nigeria, to inquire into the activities of the Nigeria Police Force in relation to the discharge of her statutory duties is a gross violation of the provisions of Section 241 (1)(2) (a) and Item 45, Part 1, First schedule, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, Cap.T21, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.
The NPF said the action of the State Governors “is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
It asked the court to restrain the defendants from conducting any investigation or setting up EndSARS panels to probe the affairs of the security agency.
Although the case was listed for December 3, it has been rescheduled for December 18 as the court where the matter was listed did not sit.
The defendants who were sued by the NPF, include the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja, the Attorneys-General of the 36 states, and chairmen of the states’ EndSARS panels.
Nigerians since the news broke on Thursday 3rd November 2020, took to the Nigerian Twitter street to register their anger. Here are some of the reactions to the news:
Chlorpheniramine #EndSARS @VictorIsrael_
Our Leaders have already started losing their sleep because #EndSARS is trending again! We are hitting the streets for a second wave of protests. Look at the pictures below, Don’t say anything, Just RETWEET AGGRESSIVELY
Welcome to the 2nd wave of #EndSARS
.The govt instead of listening to our demands, they decided to silence, intimidate and subdue us. We are back with our energy refreshed; zeal and ambition reinforced; and more determined than ever!
Bringing this back to the tl to remind us of our dogged mood during the #EndSARS as we are entering into the second wave may our coconut heads be stronger! Amen somebody…also remember to retweet massively to spread the word
IGP wants the Judicial panel scrapped but my bank account alongside 19 others remain frozen. This is pure, undiluted madness!!! #EndSARS
ALEX FAUX ®©@chineduwilshere
I was there on a Thursday before the shooting happened on Tuesday and will be ready to hit the streets again. #EndSARS
Just read that the #EndSARS panels set up in states across Nigeria are on the verge of being squashed Nigerians don’t trust the same organisation that has hidden criminals in it for years to provide justice. Just another attempt to prevent justice. Just another day in Nigeria
Your Worst Nightmare@pharjmusic
We didn’t sleep on the streets for fun, we didn’t walk across our states for exercise, we want justice and we demand one as soon as possible #EndSARS
Like I said a month ago, this isn’t the time to be reasonable, cooperative or come to any foolish table. The leaders of Nigeria do not deal in good faith. Young people should not give any quarters. #EndSARS
After over a month, none of our “5 for 5” demands have been met and they still want to scrap the judicial panel. Retweet aggressively let the world know what is going on in Nigeria #EndSARS
For the Police to ask the court to stop the #EndSARS
judicial panel of inquiry it sends a message that they are in fact guilty and are not ready for their officers to be held accountable.
I’ve known from Day one that the #EndSars judicial panel is a distraction and complete waste of time. No justice would come out of it! Now the same government that set up the panel is the same government going to court through the Police to challenge its legality.
Omo Kiikan @OmoKiikan
The police want to stop the investigation because Several state panels have already started hearing cases on police abuses and so many hidden atrocities committed by them are popping up .#EndSARS
Duke of Ibadan @AsiwajuLerry
We asked them to disband and #EndSARS
but it’s the Judicial panel they want to disband.
Fisayo Soyombo@fisayosoyombo You said you ended SARS after #EndSARS protests so what more did the protesters want. You said you created judicial panels, so why were protesters still on the streets. Now that you want to quash the judicial panels, I want to ask you: what exactly do you yourself really want?
Govt said they have “ended SARS”, so why do we still say #EndSARS
Govt said they have set up judicial panels on SARS, so why the protests. Protesters bank accounts still freezed. Some protesters still jailed. And now IG/Police wants the panels scrapped. This Govt hates peace.