By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Plateau State Government to investigate police brutality and other related killings in the state said it has received a total of 44
The Panel also said the number may increase before its 6 months’ lifespan elapse.
The panel of inquiry and restitution which began sitting on Monday in Jos, the State Capital, was set up to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violations committed by the police operatives in the state.
The Panel chaired by Justice Philomina Lot, has 7 members who are to help in finding justice to alleged affected victims who have filed petitions before the panel.
At the sitting, 3 petitions were up for mention but all were stalled due to the absence of the first petitioner and respondents not being served with the petitions.
The petitions up for mention were that of John Danladi, Udochi Obidike and Bashir Isa.
Counsel to the panel, Mr N.D Dalleng, prayed for the adjournment of all the petitions to a later date, stating that the respondents (The police) were not served as such the proceedings cannot hold.
Dalleng also prayed the panel to order for trial proceedings of the first petitioner (John Danladi) from a Federal High Court in Abuja before Justice Binta Nyako where he is standing trial.
Counsel to the Commissioner of Police Plateau Command, Mrs Muleng Alex, also prayed the court to serve the Inspector General of Police the said petitions instead of the Commissioner of Police.
Alex explained that some of the indicted SARS police officers were not in the state command and others dismissed which was not within the powers of the state command to get them appear before the panel.
The judge, in her ruling ordered that the Inspector General of Police be served with the petition in the case of the first petitioner immediately.
Lot, also ordered that the petitioner’s court proceedings be made available to panel on the next adjourned date, adding that Justice Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja to produce the first petitioner who is in Kuje Prison to appear before the panel and testify.
She also ordered that DSP Maji Mohammed who is indicted in the case be served through the Inspector General of Police to appear before the panel.
The judge also ordered that Commissioner of Police in Plateau be served with the second and third petitions and adjourned the matter to Nov. 20 and 30 respectively for hearing.
While handing down the ruling, Lot, stated that “with what has happened in Nigeria in these past months, the police should have a rethink and change.
“I also pray that Inspector General of Police and Commissioner of police will respect our orders and honour what we serve them, because the experience in the past has been one that they don’t honour any of our orders,’’ she stressed.