PLATEAU, Nigeria – The Chairman of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other Related Extra-Judicial Killings in Plateau State, Justice Philomena Lot (rtd) has assured that all those who will appear before the panel will get justice.
Recall that recently, Governor Simon Lalong inaugurated the panel to investigate allegations of police brutality.
Members of the panel include Justice Philomena Lot (Rtd.) who is the Chairman, CP Garba Patrick (Rtd), representing the police, Ezekiel Dauda Daschen, the Youth Representative, Mrs. Rauta Dakok, Rep. Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Kiyenpiya Mafuyai, representing the Human Rights Commission.
Others are Dr. John Jinung, Fatimah Suleiman, representing Civil Society as members, while Mr. Cornelius Shiolbial, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet and Special Services is to serve as the Secretary of the panel.
Lalong also gave the terms of reference of the panel to include receiving and investigating complaints of Police brutality and related extra-Judicial killings in the state.
“To evaluate evidence and draw conclusions on the validity of Complaints and to recommend Compensation and other remedial measures”, he maintained.
The Panel was given six months to conclude its assignment and submit its report.
Mr. Lot while speaking at the inaugural sitting of the Panel on Monday, in Jos, the State Capital, urged citizens with genuine complaints to come forward and file their complaints.
She said, “Each complainant is required to submit to the Tribunal ten copies of its complaint, addressed to the chairman, duly signed with name and address of the complainant, a date will then be given for oral evidence.
The Chairman of the Panel urged those appearing before the tribunal to be precise in their submissions to avoid unnecessary arguments and legal technicalities to enable it do justice to the matters.
“We assure you that we will do justice to all those that appear before us”, she stressed.
Also speaking, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the State, Chrisantus Ahmadu, said, “It is good for us that there is an admission that something has gone wrong with the structure of our police and the government has undertaken steps to overhaul the system.
“It will be good for citizens to allow the government to implement these reforms; it will take time.
He advised that waiting for the government to implement the reforms is better than plunging the country of over 200 million population in chaos like Libya and Somalia.
In his remarks, chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Jos Branch, Yakubu Bawa said the body has confidence in the Panel to do justice.
Bawa who was represented by the Branch’s Secretary, Samson Gotom, maintained that “The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Jos Branch is offering pro bono legal services to all members of the public who were victims of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other Police Units”.
According to him, “All Members of the Public with complaints on Police brutality and other related extrajudicial killings can call the NBA Jos Branch Human Right Help Desk”