Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa has approved the composition of an 11-member judicial panel of inquiry to investigate allegations of police brutality and extra-judicial killings in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the development was sequel to the directive of the National Economic Council, following the nationwide protest against the activities of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
A statement by the Press Secretary to the Governor, Humwashi Wonosikou, on Tuesday in Yola said that members of the panel were drawn from the judiciary, civil society organisations, security agencies and youth as well as religious and students’ representatives.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the panel has, as its terms of reference, to receive and investigate complaints about police brutality and extra-judicial killings as well as to evaluate evidences and establish the nature of the abuses.
Part of the panel’s terms of reference was also to establish whether or not there were individuals in custody and why they were still being kept in custody.
The panel was expected to establish whether the affected individuals had been arraigned in court and how many of them had died in custody.
It was also mandated to establish incidences of financial and material extortions and the damage caused, and determine any compensation to be paid to the victims or their relations.
The panel, which had retired Justice Adamu Hobon as Chairman and the Permanent Secretary, Security as Secretary, was given six months, from the date of inauguration, to submit its report.
Other members of the panel included: retired AIG Ibrahim Ahmed, the Solicitor-General, Samuel Yaumande, representative of state Ministry of Justice and Bishop Japheth Tonmwaso, representing the Christian Association of Nigeria.
The panel also had Alhaji Wakili Ibrahim, representing the Muslim Council of Nigeria, Grace Mamza (Human Rights Commission), James Kamale, the President, Students’ Union Government, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, representing students, as members.
Other members of the panel were Ajeni Delo, representative of youth organisations, Nafisatu Bala (Red Cross Society of Nigeria), representative of civil society organizations and Hajiya Tanee Bitoko from the National Council for Women Society (NCWS).
The governor, who described the panel members as men and women of proven integrity, urged them to maintain decorum in their discharge of their responsibilities.