Musa Pam Jos The judicial panel of inquiry constituted by Governor Simon Lalong to investigate complaints of police brutality and extra- judicial killings in Plateau State has pledged to do justice to all those that would appear before it.
Chairman of the panel and retired judge of the Plateau State High Court, Justice Philomena Lot, stated this yesterday during the inaugural sitting of the panel in Jos. It will be recalled that Governor Lalong recently constituted the panel in line with the recommendation of the National Economic Council (NEC) for the establishment of state-based judicial panels of inquiry by governors to hear complaints and ensure accountability in the operations of police units in their states.
Justice Lot said the panel would ensure that justice was served to all in matters relating to human rights abuses during the #End- SARS protests in the state. She disclosed that the panel had six months within which to complete the assignment and submit its report.
“We urged those with genuine complaints to come forward and file their complaints. Each complainant is required to submit to the tribunal tencopies of its complaints, addressed to the tribunal chairman and duly signed with the name(s) and address(s) of the complaint, a date will then be given for oral evidence”.
The panel urged those appearing before it to be precise in their submission to avoid unnecessary arguments and legal technicalities to enable them do justice to the matters.
“We assure you that we will do justice to all those that appear before us”.
However, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Jos Branch, through its Chairman, Yakubu Bawa, represented by the NBA Secretary Samson Gotom, commended the constitution of the panel by the governor, saying that NBA Jos Branch would be offering pro bono (free) legal services to all members of the public who were victims of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units in the state. He also noted that NBA Jos Branch Human Rights Help Desk can be contacted at the NBA Jos Branch Secretariat.
“We will attend to members of the public in need of pro bono (free) legal services in line with the mandate of the judicial panel of inquiry. Members of hmHuman Rights Commission, representative of the Plateau State Police Commissioner, attended the inaugural sitting.