International

Nigeria police boss withdraws lawsuit against Sars probe

Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate withdrawal of the lawsuit challenging the legality of the panels of enquiry looking into abuses by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

A statement by police spokesperson Frank Mbah on Friday says the order follows the outcome of investigations into the role played by the Force Legal Section in launching the lawsuit.

Police did not say in their statement what they had found in investigating their own legal department that prompted them to drop the lawsuit.

According to the statement, the police force remains committed to the course of justice at all times and will not allow anybody to constitute a “brick wall” to the ongoing police reforms.

Mr Adamu had ordered an investigation after news of the lawsuit trended on social media on Thursday.

The police were said to be challenging the panels because state governments do not have the legal power to carry out such investigations into police conduct.

Panels of inquiry have been set up in a number of states across Nigeria following nationwide protests against police brutality in October.

The protests called for the disbandment of the elite police unit known as Sars. Despite the unit being dissolved, protests continued for days as demonstrators asked for broader police reforms and better governance.

Rights groups have long accused the Nigerian police of extortion, illegal detention, and even extra-judicial killings.