Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
The Gombe State Commission of inquiry says it has so far received 5 complaints 24 days after its inauguration by State Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, to investigate issues of police brutality and violation of human rights by the police and other security agencies in the State.
According to the Commission, residents are not turning up to lodge their complaints and seeking justice where their rights have been violated due to a lack of awareness.
In an interview with Daily Sun, Barr Abdulsalam Muhammad Kumo, Secretary of the Commission, said they had to embark on an awareness campaign for ‘especially those living in rural areas so that they will understand that the Commission is in existence and that we are welcoming their complaints,’ Abdulsalam stated.
Daily Sun further gathered that most residents and those believed to be victims of the alleged brutality are shying away because they are mostly pro-SARS the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Abdulsalam, however, noted that the Commission’s ‘mandate is not limited to SARS operative or the police; we are mandated to investigate all security agencies, not just the police.
‘Now, people have started responding. We have received about 5 complaints now and very soon we will start to invite the complainants to know the details of the accuse persons. So, we will give both a fair hearing and then go on to make our suggestions,’ he added.
Governor Yahaya, who set up the Commission of inquiry on October 31 had earlier revealed that what was experienced in Gombe during the nationwide #EndSARS protests was a call for the reinstatement and continuation of SARS. According to Abdulsalam, Gombe residents feel that SARS had performed well in anti-robbery and anti-kidnapping operations in the State.
‘From what we have gathered during some of our sensitisation programmes on radio, many people are suggesting that SARS should not be disbanded, [that] they want SARS to continue because they have worked tremendously here in Gombe,’ he said.