Presidential panel on SARS reform deplores the use of torture in suspects’ interrogation


Members of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has deplored the continued use of torture as a tool of interrogation by security agents in the country.

The panel, led by Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), expressed this opinion shortly after its on-the-spot visit to SARS’ main detention centre in Guzampe, Abuja on January 18 this year.

Speaking on the panel’s findings, Ojukwu said members of the panel encountered detainees with scars and serious injuries, “which they revealed were as a result of torture.

He said, in view of this finding, the panel has summoned the investigation police officers (IPOs) handling cases involving suspects with such injuries, and some other senior supervising police officers to appear at its on-going sitting in Abuja.

Ojukwu called for the adoption of intelligence-led policing and scientific investigation methods as against the reliance on torture by investigator.

He argued that the deployment of force by the police and other investigating agencies always result in the destruction of vital clues and intelligence that would have aided in crime prevention and detection.