By Anthony Adgidzi
SARS Commission begins sitting, assures youths of justice By Anthony Adgidzi The Nasarawa State Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has begun sitting to receive complaints from the public The commission gave interested petitioners two weeks to file in their cases and same two weeks to respondents to submit their responses .Proper sittings by the Commission for court hearings is expected to resume in a month’s time.
The commission is sitting at the headquarters of the state ministry of Justice, Lafia and has the following terms of reference : to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality and related extra judicial killings, to evaluate evidence and draw conclusion on validity of complaints and recommend compensation and other remedial measures. It has six months to submit its report.
Chairman of the commission, Justice Badamasi Maina (rtd) at this inaugural sitting appealed to #ENDSARS youths to stop further protests in the interest of peace and development of the country. He urged them to lodge their complaints at the various tribunals setup by state governments to address issues raised by them.
Justice Maina(rtd) stated, “the youths are justified and legally entitled to express their grievances at the current state of affairs, however, peaceful protest cannot continue indefinitely else, they become violent and defeat the purpose for which they are made. “Even if you support the agitation of the #EndSARS protesters, you will surely detest the mode the protests have taken, where roads and streets are blocked, vehicles and houses destroyed and innocent persons molested, far worse than the FSARS activities, to the extent that even victims of FSARS are affected”.
While commending youths in the state for not partaking in the protest, the Commission’s chairman enjoined them to take advantage of the judicial inquiry to channel their grievances and related issues to it for redress. He assured the public of their commitment to ensure justice, adding that the people would not be disappointed. He also urged those appearing before the commission to be precise in their submissions, avoid unnecessary arguments and legal technicalities to enable the Commission do justice to the matter and conclude its assignment in good time.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Abdulakarim Kana thanked members of the commission for accepting to serve in that capacity and assured them that the ministry would give them all the necessary support to succeed. Kana disclosed that if not for the proactive measures taken by the state government to avert the protest, the state would have witnessed unrests similar to what happened in other states. According to him, the SARS phenomenon was different in Nasarawa State.
“While other states are condemning the action of SARS, we in Nasarawa State are commending them for serving the people in the most difficult times. It is only the SARS personnel who were able to tackle the bad guys who were terrorizing the people”.
The Justice commissioner regretted that the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums and appealed for calm among the youths as the government was putting in place measures to engage them on useful ventures.