Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
The Gombe State government has inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate incidents of human rights abuse and brutality by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
The commission which is being headed by Justice Sa’ad Muhammad, a retired chief judge of the state high court is to investigate other security agencies in the state for alleged violation of human rights abuse and brutality.
In his address shortly after swearing-in chairman and other members of the commission Governor Yahaya disclosed that the event was in line with the directives of the national economic council, which has been engaging stakeholders from the onset of the #EndSARS protest across with the aim of developing a reform proposal and strategies for adequate security to protect lives and properties.
According to him the commission is to investigate allegations or incidents of brutality from May 29th 2019 to October 2020. He said: “this timeframe is necessary to enable us account for actions taken under our leadership with a view to finding our possible mistakes and making amends”.
“Term of reference for the commission includes; to receive and investigate complaints from victims or victim families and members of the public of allegations of human rights violation by personnel of the disbanded SARS and any other units of the police or any security agencies in Gombe state,” the governor stated.
Further disclosed that while the commission is to identify personnel involved in the violation, it is also expected to recommend punishment and penalties for the personnel. He added that the commission is: “to ascertain whether the victims of the alleged act of human rights violations committed by the SARS is been held in detention or custody”.
Governor Yahaya who commended youths in the state for been calm all through the protest that resulted into breaking down of law and other in parts of the country. “So far the youths in Gombe state have been remarkably calm and responsible, preferring to channel their energy to dialogue stead of rioting and distractions”.
The further stated that the newly inaugurated commission has 6 months to deliver its report for implementation, that is even as he assured that the state government will not hesitate to put the commission’s report or its recommendations into use once it is finally produced.