JUST IN: Lalong Constitutes Judicial Panel On Police Brutality, Supports Disbandment of SARS

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State

BEVERLY HILLS, October 18, (THEWILL) – Plateau state governor, Simon Bako Lalong has approved the appointment of members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate complaints of police brutality and related extra judicial killings in Plateau State.

A statement on Sunday by the Director of Press & Public Affairs to the Governor, Makut Simon Macham said the panel will be chaired by a retired Judge of the State High Court, Justice Philomena Lot.

Other members are CP. Garba Patrick (Rtd); Ezekiel Dauda Daschen (Youth Representative), Rauta Dakok (Rep. of Attorney General’s Office), Kiyempia Mafuyai (Rep. of Human Rights Commission) while the civil society is to be represented by John Jinung and Fatimah Suleiman.

According to the statement, the terms of Reference of the Panel among others are to receive and investigate complaints of Police Brutality or Related Extra Judicial Killings; evaluate evidence and draw conclusions on validity of complaints; as well as recommend compensation and other remedial measures.

While congratulating members of the Committee for their appointment, the Governor challenged them to be thorough, diligent and fair.

Meanwhile, the Governor has explained recent remarks where he was alleged to have said that Northern Governors want the return of the scrapped Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Lalong said “there was no way the Northern Governors will call for the resurrection of an already scrapped SARS as approved by the President and announced by the Inspector General of Police.” What he simply conveyed in the interaction with State House Correspondents was the need for “reform of the entire policing architecture in the country.”

The Governor said his statement stressed the fact that despite the condemnable atrocities by some members of the dissolved SARS, there are some among them that are good and performed their duties diligently, and as such there should not be blanket condemnation. This is why he cited the examples of some Northern Governors who testified that the disbanded SARS contributed significantly to the fight against insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in their States.

The Governor reiterates his support for the agitation of the reform of the police.