May 15, 2021

Northern Governors join campaign against Police brutality

Governor Simon Lalong

The Northern Governors Forum says it has “deep support” for the campaigns for a “holistic reform” of Nigeria’s police system.

Chairman of the forum, Simon Lalong on Sunday said contrary to news media claims that the Governors wanted the scrapped Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad reinstated, the NGF only seeks more reforms such as the “rapid” implementation of community policing.

“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 Inspector General of Police.

“What he (Governor Lalong) simply conveyed in his interaction with State House Correspondents was the need for deeper and holistic reform of the entire policing architecture in the country where he 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,” says a statement issues by Mr. Simon Macham, the Governor’s Press Director.

Panel on Police Brutality

Governor Lalong on Friday announced the setting of a “Judicial Panel of Inquiry” into reports of police brutality and related extra-judicial killings in Plateau State.

The move, Simon Macham the Governor’s Press Director said in a press statement, was to deliver justice for all victims of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.

“This is in line with the recommendation of the National Economic Council (NEC) for the establishment of State-based judicial Panels of Inquiry by Governors to hear complaints and ensure accountability in the operations of police units in their States,” said the statement.

The panel is according to the statement is headed by a retired Judge of the Plateau State High Court Justice Philomena Lot.

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

The panel will 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, says the statement.