The Bauchi State Panel of Inquiry into Human Rights abuses by the Police said it has so far received 10 petitions on different rights violations by the disbanded Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS).
The Panel chairman, Justice Habibu Idris (Rtd), stated this during its inaugural sitting on Wednesday in Bauchi.
According to him, the panel’s terms of reference include to receive written and oral evidence of SARS brutality by victims within the state; determine those responsible for the abuse of the victims right and make recommendations for prosecution in a competent court of law.
The panel is also expected to summon witnesses where necessary, recommend preventive measures to the government to forestall re-occurrence of violent protests, and recommend appropriate compensation to the victims.
Idris said that the panel would be sitting on a daily basis with a view to determining the petitions, stressing that this approach would facilitate speedy handling of the petitions since ” justice delayed is justice denied”.
“The panel will discharge the saddled responsibility within the time frame and in accordance with the terms of reference before it. We will always be guided by our conscience, the Constitution and the Law,” he said.
He urged counsels to victims, to always observe decorum, professionalism and ethics, saying that the panel would also not condone unnecessary adjournments.
The chairman also called on the media to accurately report the proceedings of the panel, devoid of hearsay or false accounts, saying that lawyers were on hand to help in throwing more light on any contentious issues for proper reporting by the media.
Recall that the Bauchi State Government inaugurated a 17-member Judicial Panel of Inquiry in October, to investigate and determine cases of human rights abuses by the FSARS for proper prosecution.