The Committee set up to look into complaints of alleged human rights abuses and torture by the personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police Force in Bauchi State has been denied appointment to submit its findings to Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir on four occasions.
The Governor in October 2020, inaugurated the high-powered committee under Justice Habibu Idriss Shall with six months to submit its report to the governor.
Terms of Reference of the committee include, “to receive written or oral evidence of SARS brutality (and brutality by all units of the Nigerian Police) by victims within Bauchi State; to determine those responsible for the abuse of victims and recommend them for prosecution; to summon witnesses where necessary; to recommend measures to be taken by the Government to forestall future re-occurrence of violent protests; to recommend appropriate compensation to be paid to victims; to co-opt any person(s) who will be instrumental to the success of the Committee’s assignment; to submit a progress report to the Governor on monthly basis and the committee is given six (6) months within which to submit the final report to the Government.”
WikkiTimes independently gathered that the committee completed its assignment more than six months ago but failed to secure an appointment to submit its findings to the governor despite seeking for an appointment with him four times.
A member of the committee who does not want to appear in print said the committee sent a letter of request to see the governor and submit its report to him four times but was consistently denied.
He said the report of the committee is ready for submission but consistent denial of appointment with the governor truncated their effort from transmitting their report.
A Bauchi-based lawyer, Barrister S.G Idris in an open letter to Governor Bala Mohammed dated 16th August 2022, said 32 petitions were received by the panel, the lawyer said ‘six were struck out, while 26 were heard on merit.’
He said the inability of the members of the committee to see the governor and submit their findings to governor Bala is delaying justice for citizens of the state who were victims of the atrocities defunct SARS personnel meted on them unjustifiably.
The lawyer in the letter argued that Governor Bala’s attention might have been taken by his failed presidential ambition, however, months after PDP’s presidential primaries, the governor did not have time for the EndSARS committee he constituted himself.
WikkiTimes recalls the #EndSARS movement, starting from Lagos, swept through states of the federation with youths leading the protest that forced President Muhammadu Buhari to scrap SARS and replaced it with Special Weapon Tactics.