Saturday, May 21, 2022

Kaduna govt gives commission six months to probe police brutality

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe has given the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into police brutality six months to conclude its work and submit its report.

The acting governor, who inaugurated the commission on Monday in Kaduna, noted that the demand for accountability in policing is a national issue, and should be dealt with dispatch.

Mrs Balarabe explained that the federal and state governments have endorsed the demand for reforms to policing, and described the constitution of the inquiry as a firm signal that impunity will not be tolerated.

She said the inquiry is aimed at establishing accountability for unlawful conduct by police personnel.

The acting governor said that the commission would create “a platform for victims and their families to receive redress for their pains and losses.’’

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Mrs Balarabe noted that serious concerns about police accountability have in the last two weeks been expressed with unmistakable clarity across the country.

“While the youths of this country have been at the forefront of making the urgent resolution of this issue a national priority, there is no doubt that on this matter they speak for more than only their demographic.

“The groundswell of support the youths have attracted reflects a widespread view that the crisis of policing is a national emergency, requiring inquiry.

“Such an inquiry would also, along with other actions, help enthrone the principle that the police as the prime law enforcement agency in Nigeria must itself be governed by and uphold the rule of law,’’ she said.

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Mrs Balarabe noted that “the emergence of sustained institutional mechanisms for independent review of police actions will help provide safeguards against abuse of police powers.

“It will also help build public confidence that we can build a police service that can be relied upon to enforce the law fairly and impartially.’’

The acting governor argued that it is time to devolve policing powers and institute necessary safeguards for lawful conduct and protection of human rights as recommended by the APC committee on federalism, chaired by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

She pointed out the anomaly in the federal government deploying all policemen, but their operations being funded by state governments.

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On the commission’s terms of reference, she said that it will receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra judicial killings.

‘’Evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.’’

The seven member commission has retired Justice David Shiri-Wyom as chairman, and AIG Lawal Tanko, rtd, Rebecca Sako-John and Mustapha Jumare as members.

Other members are Yakubu Umar-Ibrahim, Nathaniel Sheyi-Bagudu, Tergu Gwar, and Hajara Abubakar.


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