Lawyer, Idris Gambo, Esq. has written an open letter to the Bauchi State Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed over the silence sorrounding the appraisal and implementation of the State Panel report on police brutality.
Mr. Gambo also decried rampant rights abuses and growing restiveness among youths in Bauchi State.
Below is the full text of the letter:
16th August, 2022.
The Governor of Bauchi State,
His Excellency Sen. Bala A. Mohammed,
Bauchi, Bauchi State.
ABANDONMENT OF THE REPORT OF THE END SARS PANEL IN BAUCHI STATE AND THE TOTAL DISREGARD OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND ITS FUTURE IMPLICATION ON SECURITY AND YOUTHS RESTIVENESS
The above subject matter refers.
Sir, this letter is necessitated by the fact that since the conclusion of the assignment of the Justice Habibu Idris Panel on the SARS brutality (And other units of the Nigerian Police) some months ago, the story has remain that the Executive Governor of Bauchi State is not available to receive the Panel’s Report or so people are saying. It was obvious that our amiable governor was involved in the aspiration to be the President of the Federal Republic, but that is apparently an issue of the past it appears at the moment.
I can vividly recall and attest to the fact that the Panel had worked vigorously, day and night, as our Chambers presented some petitions before the END SARS PANEL, with the hope that the panel will conclude its assignment within the six (6) months stipulated in its terms of reference, which read thus:
- To receive written or oral evidence of SARS brutality (and brutality by all units of the Nigerian Police) by victims within Bauchi State.
- To determine those responsible for the abuse of victims and recommend them for prosecution.
- To summon witnesses where necessary.
- To recommend measures to be taken by the Government to forestall future re-occurrence of violent protests.
- To recommend appropriate compensation to be paid to victims.
- To co-opt any person(s) who will be instrumental to the success of the Committee’s assignment.
- To submit progress report to the Governor on monthly basis.
- The committee is given six (6) months within which to submit final report to the Government.
Sir, when the End SARS Panel was inaugurated in October, 2020 many peace loving people in Nigeria and Bauchi State in particular thought an opportunity for them to get a long awaited justice and redress for years of police brutality has finally come home to roost.
The Panel was well assembled in Bauchi State consisting of very sound and well-articulated men of immeasurable wealth of experience comprising of retired Justice as Chairman, retired Commissioner of Police, Chief Magistrate, Senior Counsels from Ministry of Justice, Senior Members of the Bar, Senior Civil Servants retired and serving. Just looking at the composition one will expect and think of a serious venture, but that is not to be in the end after tedious months of serious engagement, deliberation, presentation of Petitions, witnesses, evidences and so forth and so on.
Many will be forced to ask, can a man who handle National Assignment of this magnitude and importance with kid gloves deserve even mentioning when we are talking of the Nigerian Presidency? Charity begins at home they say, we will love to have a president from among us to lead the entire nation, but what assurance can we give them (the rest of the nation), if our affairs is not well managed by our own.
The Panel was not only set up, but even a Trust Fund was set up along with it or so I heard, so that those victims of police brutalities can be compensated but see where Bauchi State is today while other State with serious Governors like Lagos have been attended to, in Bauchi State, our Governor is too busy to receive the Report of the End SARS Panel, which based on the available information, was ready for over Six (6) Months or thereabouts.
From good authority, the End SARS Panel in Bauchi State has received 32 Petitions, out of which 6 Petitions were struck out while 26 Petitions were heard on the merit. And the recommendations of the Panel to the Governor of Bauchi State on all the Petitions entertained by it is now ready awaiting submission to the Governor for onward transmission to the Federal Government. And since that is yet to be done, it will be foolhardy for us to blame the Federal Government for deceiving Nigerians or Bauchi State citizens on the issue.
The unfortunate thing for some of us today, is that we are part of the 50 Lawyers of “CONSCIENCE” who supported your emergence as the Governor of Bauchi State in 2019 against one of our own (A Fellow Lawyer). Therefore, note, it was that same conscience that is asking us to put you to task today as well. As some of the petitions entertained by the Panel, include the ones filed by lawyers who are as well victims of police brutality, not to demean other helpless citizens who cherished the opportunity for quick, effective and responsive justice delivery.
Finally, we wish to call on the attention of the Governor of Bauchi State and remind him of his solemn oath of office, which is valid until the 29th day of May, 2023. In which period he is not only expected as a Muslim, to only be accountable to man, but equally to the creator of man.
The irony of the behaviours of most of our States Governors of today, is their ambition to one day lead the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but if I may ask, is it possible to have meaningful leadership in a state of anarchy?
Or are they simply telling us that their main concern is the leadership of the nation without minding the social, physical, psychological and mental well being of the citizens of the same nation. What a pity that is!
The summation of this letter is to draw your attention to your responsibility to your people who trusted you with their lives and general well being, so as to hasten things up before it is too late to rectify.
Please! Accept the assurances of our best regard.
S.G. Idrees, Esq.
For: S. G. Idress & Co.
- The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The Rt. Hon. Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The Chief Justice of the Federation.
- Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
- The Inspector General of the Nigerian Police.
- The Director General (DG), Department of State Security.
- The Chief Judge, Bauchi State.
- The Hon. Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly.
- The Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Zone 12, Bauchi.
- Justice Habibu Idris Shall (Rtd), The Chairman,
- The Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State.
- The Director, Department of State Security, Bauchi.
- The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Bauchi State.
- The Bauchi State Emirate Council, Bauchi.
- The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Bauchi Branch.
- The Chairman, Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN), Bauchi Branch.
- The Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bauchi State Council.
- The Amnesty International Nigeria.
- The Chairmen, All Political Parties in Bauchi State.
- The Members of the Press.