From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Minister of Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, on Wednesday, inaugurated the Police Public Complaints Committee to investigate the brutality and human rights infringement perpetrated by members of the Nigeria Police Force during the #EndSARS protest across the country.
Dingyadi said the committee has become necessary following reported cases of police brutality against protesters.
The minister, while noting that the complaints against police misconduct reported at police stations or commands have not achieved the desired results, urged the committee to create a platform and special dedicated phone numbers through which the public can channel their complaints.
The PPCC, which is to be chaired by Ministry of Police Affairs, according to the minister, will have the Police Inspectorate Department serve as the secretary with members drawn from the Police Service Commission (PSC), Ministry of Justice; National Human Rights Commission; National Intelligence Agency; the CLEEN Foundation; Nigeria Police Force; Police Community Relations Committee and the Department of State Security Service.
The minister, who said the objective of the PPCC was to serve as an institution that has oversight on the activities of police personnel in regard to their interaction with the public, urged the members to decentralise its structure to ensure that Nigerians have easy access to it by opening channels of communication at all local government headquarters across the country.
According to him, the PPCC was designed to have a sub-committee to be known as Special Investigation Unit that will be made up of professionals.
The Committee is not out to witch-hunt the men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force, rather it is to work in synergy with police to ensure it carries out its mandate effectively,’ he stressed.
In his address at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary in charge of the police affairs ministry, Mr Temitope Fashedemi, indicated that the committee was part of moves to revamp the police, saying those who are manning public institutions are paid with public funds and are duty-bound to operate within the ambit of the law and approved rules of engagement.
‘The Police Public Complaints Committee is an additional layer for the protection of people’s rights whenever there seems to be an infringement on these rights or abuse of power, particularly by the police personnel in the discharge of their duties,’ he said.