Federal lawmakers have said they will go ahead with the ongoing constitutional review despite the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the constitutional review is to enable a reform of the Nigeria Police Force.
The IGP, Mohammed Adamu, had earlier on Sunday bowed to pressure and announced the dissolution of the dreaded police formation.
The police unit has been accused of extra-judicial killings, extortion, intimidation, and other criminal activities.
In a statement by his media adviser on Sunday, Mr Gbajabiamila commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the IGP for listening to the call by Nigerians “across the length and breadth of the country” to disband SARS.
He added that the proscription of SARS was a necessary response by the government to the public outcry arising from “multiple documented excesses” of SARS across the country.
“The Speaker wishes to assure all Nigerians that the dissolution of SARS will not preclude the ongoing efforts by the House of Representatives to effect reforms of the police through legislation.
“There is still a pressing need to have an independent system for monitoring police actions and holding police officers to proper account for failures to follow the law and the police code,” he said noting that, “The House will continue its work to legislate lasting solutions to the problems of policing in Nigeria.”
Mr Gbajabiamila called on the IGP to take practical steps to support and enforce this policy pronouncement.
“These steps are necessary to assure the Nigerian people that the announced dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad is sincere and well-intentioned, and not merely meant to quell the ongoing protests across the country.
“The Nigeria Police Force must also act to identify and punish those operatives of SARS involved in the most severe cases of abuse of rights, brutality and murder of Nigerian citizens.” the statement read in part.
Mr Gbajabiamila added that he was piqued by the police’s manhandling of some protesters, who came out in numbers to protest peacefully.
The Speaker further commended young Nigerians, at home and in the diaspora, “who saw a wrong and sought to make it right, who saw injustice and acted to put an end to it.”
He concluded that the dissolution of SARS and the broader ongoing reforms of the police that will follow are a testament to the passion and resilience of a generation of Nigerians who are determined not to accept or tolerate injustice in whatever form it takes.