Alleged threat to life: Ex-Zamfara gov appears before NHRC panel, agrees to settlement

A former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmad Rufai Sani, on Wednesday, honoured the summon of the independent investigative panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units by appearing before it.

Senator Sani was on December 2, 2020, summoned by the panel to appear before it following an application made to such effect by the counsel for the panel, Olawale Afolabi.

Afolabi made the application during the hearing of a petition brought by one Alhaji Ahmed Musa Wapa against two police officers, simply identified as Abdullahi and Zakariyya of the Area Command, Kano State; IGP-IRT Fanteka, Kaduna State; Commissioner of Police, Kano State and the Inspector-General of Police. Afolabi also applied that the former governor is joined as the sixth respondent in the petition, which was granted by the panel as prayed.

The petitioner had alleged threat to his life and abuse of office in the petition, marked 2020/IIP-SARS/ABJ/44.

At the resumed hearing of the petition, the former Zamfara governor, who personally appeared, was represented by his counsel, Efut Okoi.

On the prompting of the panel for an amicable resolution of the matter between the complainant and Senator Sani, the former governor, through Okoi, informed that he was favourably disposed to it.

Based on this, a member of the panel, Garba Tentegi SAN, who presided over today’s proceedings in the absence of the chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (retd), directed Wapa and Senator Sani to go for mediation, adding that the counsel for the panel is involved in the mediation process.

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He then adjourned the petition till March 15.

The complainant, Alhaji Wapa, had on December 3, 2020, told the panel that on June 30, 2020, he was arrested in Hadejia by a team of policemen who thoroughly beat him and took him to Kano.

According to him, after spending four days in Kano, the case was transferred to Kaduna on the instruction of the former governor.

He stated that he had been a business part with the former governor, adding that the police told him Sani complained to them that he was owing him N23 million.

He then urged the panel to unfreeze his account; guarantee his safety as well as the release of his truck with the payment of N20,000 it delivered daily for the period of April 20 till date.

The petitioner further sought the sum of N100million as damages from the police and Senator Sani for tarnishing his image as a terrorist and closing of his business, adding that he could not do his business any longer as people now see him as a terrorist.

While being cross-examined that day by counsel for the respondents, James Idachaba, the petitioner stated that he was not aware that a court-ordered his investigation.

He said he did not write any statement to the police, saying that they did not tell him any offence he committed, throughout the six days he spent in police custody.

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Alleged threat to life: Ex-Zamfara gov appears before NHRC panel, agrees to settlement

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