Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has received report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the state government to investigate alleged Police brutality and abuse of human rights in the state.
Presenting the report at the Government House Minna, Justice Ishaku Usman, Chairman of the Panel, said the Panel received 17 petitions, 53 witnesses appeared before it while 50 exhibits were tendered which included; three teeth of a young lady, three death certificates, 33 empty teargas canisters and four bullet shell.
Justice Usman said during the period of their inquest, they saw the good, the bad and the best of personnel of the Nigeria Police.
“Your Excellency, in the course of our two months sitting, we saw the good the bad and the best of the personnel of Nigerian police,” he said.
He disclosed that part of the recommendations of the Panel was that virtue of empathy should be inculcated into the training and re-training of the Nigeria Police personnel so as to make them more humane in handling issues in the society.
The Chairman, who said the Judicial Panel also discovered insubordination and impunity among the rank and file of the Nigerian Police, called for more discipline within the police force.
Responding, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello commended the chairman and members of the panel for doing justice to the assignment given to them.
He called on the Federal government to prioritise welfare of police as well as provision of adequate working equipment for optimal performance.
The Governor said “people make mistakes, mistakes have been made in the past but I think it is not too late to correct them. The Police and the people must coexist within the ambit of constituted authority”, he added.
“We need the police, but then, the police need the society. So, we must have a way to abide by laws and other authorities and at the same time we expect them to handle us within the confines of the law”, he said.
The Governor, subsequently, inaugurated a White Paper Committee headed by Bello Dan-Yahaya to go through the report and make recommendations for implementation.
Other members of the White Paper Committee are; Alh. Adamu Panti Mohammed, Mr. Bala Joseph Dada and the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet and Securities, Aliyu Isah who is to serve as the Secretary.
Former Minister, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, Retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Jacob Dan’azumi Doma and the former Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Barr. Adamu Usman expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the state and called for the speedy implementation of the Panel’s recommendations.
It would be recalled that Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had on the 23rd of October, 2020, inaugurated a 14- man Judicial Panel of Inquiry to, among other things, investigate complaints of alleged police brutality, abuse of human rights and other extrajudicial acts by the disbanded SARS as well as make recommendations on ways to prevent reoccurrence