By Khalid Idris Doya
Governor Bala Mohammed has been reminded about the non-receipt of a report of the committee on End SARS Panel in Bauchi state which was set up in January 2020 that had already completed its assignment with its report waiting for over six months for its submission to the state government.
It could be recalled that the Justice Habibu Idris Shall Panel on the SARS Brutality (And other units of the Nigerian Police) was inaugurated by Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed in January 2020 to receive public complaints on the brutality of members of the Police Force with a view to determine such complaints and find amicable solutionsn to them.
An open letter was written by S. G. Idress & Co. reminding the Governor on the abandonment of the report of the End SARS Panel in Bauchi state which, according to the letter, exhibit total disregard of human rights and its future implications on the security and youths’ restiveness in the state.
The open letter written by S. G. Idrees Esq, said 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.
Idrees Esq stated “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”.
He further recalled that 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 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”.
According to him, 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, evidences and so forth.
“Many will be force to ask, can a man who handle National Assignment of this magnitude and importance with kid gloves deserve even mentioning 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, if our affairs is not well managed by our own”.
Mr. S. G Idrees noted that the End SARS Panel in Bauchi state has received many petitions while the recommendations of the Panel to the Governor of Bauchi state on all the petitions entertained by it is now ready awaiting submission to the Governor for onward transmission to the Federal Government.
Idrees however explained that since the panel report is yet to be submitted to the state government, it will be foolhardy for Bauchi citizens to blame the Federal Government for deceiving them or Nigerians generally on the issue, saying “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”.
“Therefore, note, 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”.
The Chamber therefore drew the attention of Governor Bala Mohammed, as it also reminded him of his solemn oath of office, which the lawyers argued, is valid until the 29th day of May, 2023, in which period the Governor is not only expected as a Muslim, to only be accountable to man, but equally to the Creator of man.