Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The judicial panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of police brutality set up by the Taraba State government has received eleven petitions so far.
The chairman of the panel Justice Christopher Awubra disclosed this at the inaugural meeting of the panel on Monday in Jalingo.
Awubra said that the Panel had slight challenges with logistics that have been addressed and assured that the the confidentiality and safety of those testifying before the Commission remains a top priority of their job.
He urged the public to come forward with their complaints and petitions to the panel with the assurance that at the end of the day, justice would be done to all who table their issues before the panel but advised the public to be realistic in their presentation.
“You are all welcome to this very important inaugural meeting of this panel. We had some logistics issues that have now been addressed. Let me assure you that the lives of those coming to testify at this Commission will be sufficiently protected as the Commission will not operate or allow impunity or intimidation. This is a closed Commission where confidentiality is very important and highly respected.
“Complaints, petitions, memoranda from the public are highly welcomed since we have commenced sittings and we have pledged to look at issues objectively and to pursue justice with every iota of sincerity. If you have any issues that need to be heard, we are here for you and we would take it up with the assurance that you will get redress” Awubra said.
He said that considering the geographical landscape of the state that makes for some difficult areas to reach, the commission was considering having sittings at some of the remote and rural areas so that the people who ordinarily may not be able to make it to the state capital will also have a chance to present their complaints.
Daily Sun recall that the Taraba State government set up the Judicial Panel of inquiry and restitution for victims police brutality on the 22nd of October to determine the causes of “persistent and rampant cases of police brutality and killings in the state from the perspective of the institutional weaknesses of the police, perception of the general public about the role of the police and psychological disposition of the individual police officers” among other terms of references.