By Abdullahi Rufa’i Adamu
The right to dignity of a human is one of the fundamental human rights of every Nigerian citizen. This right is inalienable to every Nigerian. Therefore, one should not deprive another person of this right as it is entitled by the Constitution.
A citizen of Nigeria is expected to enjoy this right without fear of any other person or government because of the legal entitlement. Violation of this right by other individual or government can lead to a disturbance of the citizen and consequently result in misunderstanding or even conflict.
There were protests recently by some of the youths agitating in many parts of the country. The Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police (SARS) was accused by the protesters for brutal treatment and detention as described by one of the youth who appeared before the committee set up in Lagos state on how SARS detained him for forty-three days without being arraigned at the court, torturing of alleged suspects among others.
The sparking outrage from the part of these youths necessitated the government to disband the Special Anti Robbery Squad completely and promised to reform the police in the country. The federal government also constituted a commission of inquiry to ascertain and investigate thoroughly and probe allegations raised against SARS. The committee also expected to gather all genuine facts and evidences and to submit its reports within six months. However, in other to prevent future reoccurrence, the federal government gave a directive that all the thirty-six states should create the same committee at the state level.
Bauchi state government under the leadership of Sen. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed had in compliance with the federal government directive inaugurated a committee on Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 at the Government House, Bauchi. I quoted the Governor saying “we are Federalists, so we have to support the federal government policies and abide by its directives”.
The inauguration of the 17 members judicial panel committee which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Government House was charged to investigate human rights abuses by the disbanded SARS. According to Governor Bala, the terms of reference of the committee is to recommend measures to be taken by the government to forestall future recurrence of violent protests, recommend appropriate compensation to be paid to the victims and to submit a progress report to the government on a monthly basis.
The committee, however, is expected to receive written or oral evidence of SARS brutality by victims within Bauchi state, determine those responsible for the abuse of victims and recommend them for prosecution and to summon witnesses where necessary.
The Governor urged the committee to discharge the assignment with all sense of dedication, commitment, justice, fairness and patriotism while assuring them with all necessary support for the successful execution of their assignment.While responding, the Chairman of the Judicial panel, Retired Justice Habibu Idris Shall expressed gratitude to the Governor for finding them worthy and pledged to discharge the assignment diligently and to the best of their ability.
This is a steadfastness of Governor Bala’s administration to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens of Bauchi state from being violated by the security agency. Up to the moment of this write-up, there are still many states that are yet to set up such committee. As Bauchi state indigene, we must thank the Almighty God for being blessed with Sen. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed as our Governor and to commend his effort in his disposition in any act that may lead to violation of our rights.
This also serves as a remarkable achievement for the good people of Bauchi state.
Abdullahi Rufa’i Adamu writes from Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily