Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has inaugurated a 17-member Judicial Panel of Inquiry over alleged police brutality and human rights abuses in the state.
While inaugurating the committee on Thursday in Bauchi, Mohammed said that the panel members were chosen based on the government’s belief in their abilities to be committed, fair and just.
The governor urged them to unravel instances of human rights abuses by the police, especially the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“You have to bring your knowledge and wealth of experience to bear in handling the task before you. You should investigate and ascertain the level of human rights abuses perpetrated by the SARS.
“You are to receive evidence of human rights violations and recommend the best possible ways of enthroning social justice,” he said.
Mohammed, who gave the committee six months within which to submit its report, promised to accord it all the necessary support to enhance the effective discharge of its responsibilities.
Responding, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Habibu Idris (rtd.), expressed the readiness of members to show commitment in delivering on the task before them.
He commended the governor for the opportunity given them to serve, urging members of the public to support the panel with useful information to undertake the task ahead.
Reports have it that members of the panel were drawn from stakeholder groups, such as the police, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and religious organisations based in the state.
Others were the chamber of commerce, women lawyers, youth and women groups, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and students’ association.