By Seriki Adinoyi
Plateau State Government has warned the public to desist from submitting frivolous petitions to the state Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating alleged police brutality and other related killings in the state, adding that “if you bring fake cases before the panel, you will risk seven years jail term.”
This is even as the registrar of the panel, Mr. Mark Mallan has disclosed that only three memoranda have been received by the panel, two weeks after it was set up.
He said, “so far, we have received three memoranda. We are expecting that more will be submitted by members of the public before the panel commences hearing on the cases.”
The panel held its inaugural sitting at the Azi Nyako Youth Centre in Jos yesterday.
Mallan added that “as it is, we have set November 16, 2020 to start hearing on the petitions and it is then that we will determine the number of days the panel will sit in a week. “
At the inaugural sitting, Chairman of the Judicial Panel, Justice Philomena Lot said that the commission has the mandate to receive and investigate any complaints brought before it in line with its mission and would thereafter recommend compensation and other remedial measures after evaluating evidence on the validity of the complaints.
According to her, the panel has six months within which to complete its assignment and submit reports.
She urged those that would appear before the panel to be precise in their submissions to avoid unnecessary arguments and legal technicalities to enable them do justice to all parties.
She also told the Police that they will be invited any time their attention is needed, urging them to make themselves available.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chrysantus Ahmadu pleaded with the people to be patient with government as everything was being done to address the challenges facing the state, including the need for police reforms
He said that government was determined to ensure that all victims of police brutality get justice at the end of the day but warned those with frivolous petitions to steer clear from the panel or risk jail terms.
Stakeholders such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Nigerian Police and the Plateau Initiative for Development and Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN) among others were there