The Federal Government has established the Police Public Complaints Committee to review and resolve police misconduct and rights violations.
While inaugurating the committee in Abuja on Wednesday, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, Minister of Police Affairs, said the establishment was a culmination of last year’s #EndSARS demonstrations in response to incidents of police brutality.
The PPCC will be chaired by the Ministry of Police Affairs, with the Police Inspectorate Department serving as secretary.
The Police Service Commission, the Ministry of Justice, the National Human Rights Commission, the National Intelligence Agency, the CLEEN Foundation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Police Community Relations Committee, and the Department of State Security Service are all members of the committee.
According to Dingyadi, the PPCC’s mission is to function as an agency that monitors the behaviour of police officers in relation to their interactions with the public.
The minister said that concerns of police brutality lodged at police stations or commands have not yielded the required results.
He said, “Once the PPCC becomes operational, I will expect it to swing into action by embarking on wide publicity and sensitization campaigns to enable Nigerians to be aware of its existence and its functions and thereby recognize it as the proper avenue to channel their complaints against police personnel.”
Dingyadi said the committee was also expected to create a platform and special dedicated phone numbers through which the public can channel their complaints.
He urged the PPCC to decentralize its structure to ensure that Nigerians have easy access to it by opening channels of communication at all local government headquarters.
He added that 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.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr Temitope Fashedemi pointed out that the committee was part of moves to revamp the police, adding that 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.
He stated, “’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”.