In a decision aimed at strengthening the position of state governors as the chief security officers of their respective states, the Federal government Thursday mandated them to supervise the operations of the newly established police unit called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).
This was disclosed today at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja.
The council also approved the constitution of Judicial Panels of Inquiry to investigate cases of police brutality in all states and the Federal Capital Territory. The panels were given six months to complete the assignment.
A special fund has also been directed to compensate victims of police brutality in all states.
All these were disclosed in a statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande.
He stated: “Rising from its monthly meeting, the National Economic Council has directed the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry across the country to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extrajudicial killings with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units.
“The Council specifically resolved that State Governors and the FCT Minister should take charge of interface and contact with the protesters in their respective domains.
“At a meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and attended by State Governors, the Judicial Panels which would be set up in all the States would include representatives of Youths, Students, Civil Society Organizations and would be chaired by a respected retired State High Court Judge.
“The Council also directed that State Governors should immediately establish a State-based Special Security and Human Rights Committee to be chaired by the Governors in their states, to supervise the newly formed police tactical units and all other security agencies located in the state.
“The idea of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee in all States of the Federation and the FCT is to ensure that police formations and other security agencies in the State consistently protect the Human Rights of citizens.
“Members of the Special Committee would also include Representatives of Youths, and Civil Society. The Head of Police tactical units in each of the State would also be a member of the Committee.
“Regarding the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, each State Government is to set up the Panel, chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with other members selected by the State Governor as follows:
*Two representatives of Civil Society groups
*One Retired Police Officer of high repute
*One Youth Representative
*One Student Representative
*One Representative of the State Attorney-General and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.