Jos Mayhem: Commission rejects petition against police in Jos

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The Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the cause(s) of November 28, 2008, sectarian violence in Jos, Plateau state, has thrown away the petition filed against the state police command.

It was the first petition to be thrown out since it started public hearing in January, this year. The rejected petition was filed by Chief Richard Anderson on behalf of Miango Rest Home.

Rejecting the memo No/JcI/J/15/2009 and dated February 4, the commission’s chairman, Justice Bola Ajibola explained that the petition was outside the panel’s terms of reference.

Consequently, the petitioner was advised to direct his petition to the police headquarters, Abuja. The petitioner earlier told the commission that the authorities of Miango Rest Home, had in the first week of February requested for police protection in a Jos suburb.

The Home, he stated was Evangelical Church of West Africa’s (ECWA) estate meant for the church’s expatriate missionaries.

Chief Anderson told the commission that all expatriate missionaries in the state were in early February this year, directed to move with their families to the Home for their security. The directive, according to him, came on the heels of another round of breakdown of law and order in the state.

According to him the management of the Home went to the State Police Headquarters, Jos, requested for police protection of the estate. The petitioners told the commission that to his consternation, the deputy commissioner of police did not send police personnel to protect the Home.

Besides, he alleged that the police chief, a Muslim, harassed his team in the process. He said the management had no alternative than to resort to the employment of local vigilante group to secure the estate.

He further told the commission that his team’s frantic efforts were futile despite the interventions of Special Adviser to governor, Jonah Jang on security matters, and the then Information and Communication  Commissioner, Hon Nuhu Gargara. According to him “it was clear that Nigeria Police can longer protect life and property.”

Meanwhile, the commission has adjourned sine-die to enable it read through, and study the documents and exhibits it has received.