The Judicial Panel on Restitution of Victims of Police Brutality and other Security Agencies in Taraba state led by Justice Christopher Awubra has concluded its sitting after receiving 34 petitions with no compensations for any vicitm.
Out of the 34 petitions received, 6 were withdrawn or struck out while 28 were successfully heard.
The Nigeria Police Force had 26 petitions against it, while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigerian Army had 2 and 3 respectively.
The petition consisted of eight murder cases and twenty six others bordering on torture, illegal arrest, extortion and illegal detention.
The Secretary of the panel, Elihu Ekarah told newsmen at the end of the sittings that most of the petitions would be determined by their strenghts.
“Only the NSCDC never defaulted from honouring surmons. The Nigerian Army never showed while the Police staretd appearing but later stopped, he said”.
He explained that most of the petitions were determined on the strenght of the petitioners and the absence of the respondents was deemed to be a waiver of their right to be heard or defend themselves.
The source added that only the NSCDC, among the security agencies, never defaulted from honouring summons.
At the last sitting of the panel, three petitions were heard and the first petition had to do with four siblings who were accused of stealing, totured and killed.
Narrating the ordeal, the petitioner and a sibling of the deceased, Kabiru Jibril, said they were having a chat in front of their house when officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) approached them and picked his four sublings, leaving him to inform his parents about the incident.
He added that the SARS officers threatened to shoot him and his mother if they approached their office to find them.
Jibril told the panel that they later summoned the courage to approach the office the day after and on getting there, they were told that the people they came to look for were not in their custody hence they should go in search for them elsewhere.
On their way home, he said a relative asked them to stop at the Jekadafari Cemetary in Jalingo where they found the remains of the four victims with bullet wounds all over their bodies.
According to the petitioner, they sought to find out who brought their corpes and were told that the police did and gave the undertakers ten thousand naira to get all the necessary materials to bury them.
The victim’s family demanded Eight Hundred Million Naira as compensation (Two Hundred Million each to the four deceased victims).
One Abdullahi Manu also filed a petition against the Nigerian Army, alleging that two soldiers killed his elder brother and dumped his body at Bomon Kurkur Community in Bali Local Government Area.
He asked the panel to grant his family One Hundred Million Naira as compensation for the damage caused.
Another petitioner, Jayi Auta, called on the police to return the corpse of his elder brother whom they shot, killed and took away. He identified the policeman who killed the victim as Ezekiel Chimbe, adding that his father has died as a result of the shock of his son’s death.
Like others, Auta demanded Fifty Million Naira as compensation for the death of his father and his elder brother.
In his response, Justice Awubra said the panel would use the remaining 13 days to write and submit its recommendations to the state governor for implementation.
Recall that Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku inaugurated the panel on October 22, 2020 and gave the panel two months to complete its task but later extended it to six months, considering the task involved.
The panel received and listened to a total of 34 petitions since its inaugural sitting on November 26, 2020.