THE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has offered pro bono (free) legal services to petitioners listed to give evidence in Rivers state’s Judicial Commission of Inquiry into perceived atrocities of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
Port Harcourt Branch chairman of the NBA, Prince Nyekwere at the inaugural address by the Rivers commission of inquiry on Tuesday said the gesture was informed by the NBA’s commitment at ensuring that complainants get fair hearing and not restrained by lack of finance as the inquiries have far reaching implications for enduring peace and good governance in Nigeria.
Nyekwere said, “We are committed to give all the support within our disposal to the Commission and those who will appear before it, especially petitioners who have suffered one form of pain, loss or the other in the hands of SARS.
“Beyond personal losses or pains, we believe the EndSARS protest which compelled the commission of inquiries was not just against police brutality. It was a protest demanding good governance which is paramount in order to forestall such further protests by the highly disappointed Nigeria youths. We have confidence in the calibre of the people in the commission to do justice to their responsibility.”
Chairman of the Rivers Commission, Justice Chukwuneye Uriri in an inaugural address said said the Commission received a total one hundred and seventy one Memorandum from petitioners.
Among its terms of reference, he said the commission will ascertain and identify the acts of violence, torture, brutality, murder and violation of fundamental rights of citizens by officers and men of Nigerian Police especially operatives of SARS.
He said the Commission will also ascertain and identify officers involved in alleged atrocities, motive for their actions as well as the victims in the acts by men and officers of Nigerian Police especially defunct SARS.
Hearings commence Wednesday with maximum six petitions daily with the case of alleged SARS killing of a Rivers Polytechnic lecturer, Dr. Ferry Gberegbe slated for hearing from his wife, Christine, at terminal 30th of December, 2020.
By Egufe Yafugborhi