Kaduna gives commission 6 months to probe police brutality

The Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe has given the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into brutality six months to conclude its work and submit its report.

The acting governor, 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.

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 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.’’

Balarabe noted that serious concerns about 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 must itself be governed by and uphold the rule of law,’’ she said.

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 build a police service that 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 Gov. Nasir El-Rufai.

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

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.(NAN)

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