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Taraba panel alleges neglect by government

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Ishaku

Members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality in Taraba State have decried the alleged government’s inability to meet its responsibility to the panel.

The alleged neglect reportedly led to the dearth of materials that ought to facilitate the panel’s proceedings.

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Stationery and funds to reach out to petitioners and summon respondents were said to be lacking, a situation the panel was fast derailing proceedings.

The situation was said to be discouraging some members from attending sittings. Some of them told The Guardian: “Could you believe that, for the past five months, we have not received a dime in form of sitting allowance from the government.”

Citing other states, where all the necessary provisions were made available to the panel even before their commencement of sitting, they said the reverse was the case in Taraba.

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Some of them, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that apart from the initial N10 million released to the panel at its inauguration last year, no dime had been released to them.

The amount, which they said, went into the purchase of materials and miscellaneous, was not even enough.

Chairman of the panel, Christopher Awubra, said he was using his personal money to fund the commission.

Several efforts to get the attention of Governor Darius Ishaku on the issue, according to some of the members, were abortive.

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Such efforts include written memos, none of which was attended to.

However, a top government functionary, who testified seeing some of the memos, pleaded with the panel to exercise more patience as “efforts to draw the governor’s attention to them are in top gear.”

The panel, which commenced hearings on the numerous petitions by victims of brutality by the police and other security agencies in the state last year, will conclude its assignment next week, The Guardian gathered.

“How are we sure that all our entitlements would be paid to us after our assignment,” they lamented.

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