The absence of the representatives of the police on Monday stalled the sitting of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating the allegations of police brutality in Taraba State.
At the first sitting held in Jalingo, the state capital, three petitions were mentioned for hearing with their legal aides present, but the police as defendants to the suit were absent.
During Monday’s session, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Christopher Awubra, considered the submission of the counsel to the petitioners and noted the absence of the respondents and their representatives.
He adjourned the hearing of the petitions to Wednesday for the defendants to appear and defend the petitions against them.
“We have considered the submissions of counsels to the petitioners and are mindful of the absence of the respondents and their representatives if any.
“Counsel to the commission has urged the commission to oblige for a further adjournment to enable the respondents or representatives to appear and defend the petitions,” he said.
According to Justice Awubra, justice will be better served when all parties to the petitions are accorded adequate time to make presentations to the hearing of the petitions.
“In this light, therefore, we are prone to allow for a further adjournment in the interest of justice and these petitions are further adjourned to the second day of December 2020 for hearing,” he added.
Just like in other states, the Taraba State government set up and inaugurated the panel to among other things, investigate the allegations of police brutality.
This follows a nationwide protest by youths in many states across Nigeria, which was later hijacked and triggered violence in some parts of the country.
In the wake of the demonstration, the Federal Government bowed to pressure to scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) – a unit of the Nigeria Police allegedly notorious for harassing and extorting Nigerian youths.