Idris Gambo, a human rights lawyer in Bauchi State, has written to Governor Bala Mohammed, berating him for evading the report of the #EndSARS panel in the state.
The lawyer, in his open letter to the governor, copied Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, among others.
The Bauchi State #EndASARS panel led by Justice Habibu Idris Shall had completed its task about six months ago, but assessing the governor to submit the report to him has been an impediment, Gambo explained, adding that the governor’s failed presidential ambition made him unavailable to receive the report, “but that is apparently an issue of the past, it appears at the moment,” he wrote.
Out of 32 petitions received by the panel, the lawyer said ‘six were struck out, while 26 were heard on merit.” However, the governor’s unavailability to receive the report is stalling its onward submission to the federal government, he added.
Like, Lagos State, the Bauchi State #EndSARS panel consist of experienced persons from the law profession, the police force among others. Not only that testimonies were heard, the panel, Gambo said was also a trust fund was also set up to compensate the victims of the police brutality in the state. Howver, it remains in its shadow.
He wondered how a governor who is handling such as a serious matter with levity could fit in for presidency.
“Many will be forced to ask, can a man who handles national assignments of this magnitude and importance with kid gloves deserve even mention when we are talking about the Nigerian Presidency? Charity begins at home, they say. We would love to have a president from among us to lead the entire nation, but what assurance can we give them (the rest of the nation) if our affairs are not well managed by our own,” Gambo’s letter read partly. “The irony of the behaviours of most of our state governors of today is their ambition to one day lead the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but if I may ask, is it possible to have meaningful leadership in a state of anarchy?”
Recalling how he and some of his colleagues engineered the emergence of Bala to become the state governor, the lawyer said he was writing with the same consciousness to put the governor to the task.
“The unfortunate thing for some of us today is that we are part of the 50 Lawyers of “CONSCIENCE” who supported your emergence as the Governor of Bauchi State in 2019 against one of our own (a fellow lawyer),” he stated. “Therefore, note, that it is that same conscience that is asking us to put you to task today as well. Some of the petitions entertained by the Panel include those filed by lawyers who are also victims of police brutality, not to demean other helpless citizens who cherished the opportunity for quick, effective and responsive justice delivery.”
In close, Gambo said the essence of his letter is “to draw your (Governor Bala) attention to your responsibility to your people who trusted you with their lives and general well-being, so as to hasten things up before it is too late to rectify.”
ABANDONMENT OF THE REPORT OF THE END SARS PANEL IN BAUCHI STATE AND THE TOTAL DISREGARD OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND ITS FUTURE IMPLICATION ON SECURITY AND YOUTHS RESTIVENESS
The above subject matter refers.
Sir, this letter is necessitated by the fact that since the conclusion of the assignment of the Justice Habibu Idris Shall Panel on the SARS Brutality (And other units of the Nigerian Police) some months ago, the story has remained that the Executive Governor of Bauchi State is not available to receive the Panel’s Report or so people are saying. It was obvious that our amiable governor was involved in the aspiration to be the President of the Federal Republic, but that is apparently an issue of the past it appears at the moment.
I can vividly recall and attest to the fact that the Panel had worked vigorously, day and night, as our Chambers presented some petitions before the END SARS PANEL, with the hope that the panel will conclude its assignment within the six (6) months stipulated in its terms of reference, which read thus:
- 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.
- The committee is given six (6) months within which to submit a final report to the Government.
Sir, when the End SARS Panel was inaugurated in October 2020 many peace-loving people in Nigeria and Bauchi State, in particular, thought an opportunity for them to get a long-awaited justice and redress for years of police brutality has finally come home to roost.
The Panel was well assembled in Bauchi State consisting of very sound and well-articulated men of an immeasurable wealth of experience comprising of retired Justice as Chairman, retired Commissioner of Police, Chief Magistrate, Senior Counsels from Ministry of Justice, Senior Members of the Bar, Senior Civil Servants retired and serving. Just looking at the composition one will expect and think of a serious venture, but that is not to be in the end after tedious months of serious engagement, deliberation, presentation of Petitions, witnesses, evidence and so forth and so on.
Many will be forced to ask, can a man who handles National Assignment of this magnitude and importance with kid gloves deserve even mention when we are talking of the Nigerian Presidency? Charity begins at home they say, we will love to have a president from among us to lead the entire nation, but what assurance can we give them (the rest of the nation), if our affairs are not well managed by our own?
The Panel was not only set up but even a Trust Fund was set up along with it or so I heard so that those victims of police brutalities can be compensated but see where Bauchi State is today while other states with serious Governors like Lagos have been attended to, in Bauchi State, our Governor is too busy to receive the Report of the End SARS Panel, which based on the available information, was ready for over Six (6) Months or thereabouts.
From good authority, the End SARS Panel in Bauchi State has received 32 Petitions, out of which 6 Petitions were struck out while 26 Petitions were heard on merit. And the recommendations of the Panel to the Governor of Bauchi State on all the Petitions entertained by it are now ready and awaiting submission to the Governor for onward transmission to the Federal Government. And since that is yet to be done, it will be foolhardy for us to blame the Federal Government for deceiving Nigerians or Bauchi State citizens on the issue.
The unfortunate thing for some of us today is that we are part of the 50 Lawyers of “CONSCIENCE” who supported your emergence as the Governor of Bauchi State in 2019 against one of our own (A Fellow Lawyer). Therefore, note, that it was that same conscience that is asking us to put you to task today as well. As some of the petitions entertained by the Panel include the ones filed by lawyers who are as well victims of police brutality, not to demean other helpless citizens who cherished the opportunity for quick, effective and responsive justice delivery.
Finally, we wish to call on the attention of the Governor of Bauchi State and remind him of his solemn oath of office, which is valid until the 29th day of May, 2023. In which period he is not only expected as a Muslim, to only be accountable to man, but equally to the creator of man.
The irony of the behaviours of most of our States Governors of today, is their ambition to one day lead the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but if I may ask, is it possible to have meaningful leadership in a state of anarchy?
Or are they simply telling us that their main concern is the leadership of the nation without minding the social, physical, psychological and mental well-being of the citizens of the same nation? What a pity that is!
The summation of this letter is to draw your attention to your responsibility to your people who trusted you with their lives and general well-being, so as to hasten things up before it is too late to rectify.
Please! Accept the assurances of our best regard.
S. G. Idrees Esq.
For: S. G. Idress & Co.
- The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The Rt. Hon. Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The Chief Justice of the Federation.
- Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
- The Inspector General of the Nigerian Police.
- The Director General (DG), Department of State Security.
- The Chief Judge, Bauchi State.
- The Hon. Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly.
- The Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Zone 12, Bauchi.
- Justice Habibu Idris Shall (Rtd), The Chairman,
- The Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State.
- The Director, Department of State Security, Bauchi.
- The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Bauchi State.
- The Bauchi State Emirate Council, Bauchi.
- The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Bauchi Branch.
- The Chairman, Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN), Bauchi Branch.
- The Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bauchi State Council.
- The Amnesty International Nigeria.
- The Chairmen, All Political Parties in Bauchi State.
- The Members of the Press.