Forty-seven victims of police brutality in Taraba State, who appeared before the panel set up after the #ENDSARS protest of last October, have accused the state government of delaying the report.
In a petition on Monday addressed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, they said the state government had refused to release fund to the panel to enable it prepare its report after concluding its work.
But the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Sam Adda, has dismised the allegation, saying the report is being processed in his office.
The petition was signed on behalf of 47 victims by Ali Danladi, Osita Gabriel, Pius Nyado and John K. Yunana.
“We are compelled to communicate to your esteemed office directly concerning our plights as victims because from all indications, the state government is unwilling to give the panel the needed financial support to make the report ready for onward submission to the NEC (National Economic Council), which you are the chairman.”
They noted that Mr Osibanjo had directed all state governments to submit the reports of their judicial panel of inquiry on police brutality to NEC.
In Taraba, the panel headed by Christopher Awubra completed its work several months ago.
The petitioners appealed to the Vice President to prevail on the state government to allow the panel submit its report.
In the petition, which was also copied to the National Human Rights Commission, the victims said:
“We are aware of the directive that emanated from your esteemed office to state governments to submit the report, but despite the directive, the Taraba state government is yet to submit the report and the panel public hearing or petitions was concluded since May 17, 2021.”
They, therefore, “respectfully request for your intervention so that the state government can make the report ready to enable us to get compensation accordingly.”
They said some of the victims “have lost their lives, while some have been permanently incapacitated and in dire need of money to access better medical treatment. ”
PREMIUM TIMES reliably gathered that the government also had failed to provide the basic sitting allowances of members of the panel.
A member of the panel , who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, decried the way the state government treated them during the proceedings.
He said apart from the initial N10 million released to the panel at its inauguration, no other fund was released to the panel.
He said the released amount covered the purchase of materials and miscellaneous items.
But Mr Adda, the attorney-general of the state, denied that the government refused to meet its financial commitment to the panel.
“Who told them, is it the panel?” he asked.
“The report is presently being typed in my office. They will be given a copy to verify the contents as soon as we are through before they will sign,” Mr Adda said.