EndSARS: Only 13 states “ve inaugurated Judicial panels

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Only 13 states have so far responded to the recommendation of the National Economic Council (NEC), for the establishment of judiciary panels of inquiry into policr brutality.

The panel is expected to take complaints and ensure accountability in the operations of police units in their states.

Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, has approved the appointment of members of the panel to investigate complaints of police brutality and related extra-judicial killings in the state.

The panel, which is headed by a retired Judge of the Plateau State High Court, Justice Philomena Lot, has other members as: Commissioner of Police Garba Patrick (rtd); Mr. Ezekiel Dauda Daschen (youth representative); Mrs. Rauta Dakok (representative of Attorney General’s Office); and Mrs. Kyempia Mafuyai (representative of Human Rights Commission).

The committee has six months to complete its assignment and submit its report.

In a related development, the Kogi State Government has inaugurated 10-man Human Rights Special Intervention Group (HRSIG) committee to help respond to the legal needs of victims of human right abuse to enable them have access to justice.

The Director General, Office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC) in the state, Mr. Abdullahi Zakari who inaugurated the committee in Lokoja, noted that the inauguration was to address the persistence violations of the rights of Kogi residents and the inability of the vulnerable to access justice.

Also, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality in the state as the protests continue.

He cited Section 5 of Tribunals of Inquiry Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 as a legal justification to set up the panel which will be joined by 2 youth reps and a member of the Human Rights Commission also.

The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun inaugurated the state’s Judicial Panel of Inquiry to address complaints against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS), which include judicial killings and extortion.

Mr Abiodun called on members of the panel to make fairness, firmness, dedication and objectivity their watchwords and enjoined them to shun all acts which could impact negatively on their assignment.

In Edo State, the government also set up a 12-man judicial panel of inquiry.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, said the panel has 90 days to complete its assignment.

According to him, the panel was set up “in response to the yearnings of Nigerian youths, as articulated in the demands of the #Endsars protesters.”

The panel is chaired by Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe, while Mrs. Joyce Ugbodaga is the secretary.

Other members of the committee include Bishop Feb Idahosa, Francis Osayi, Mr. Osahon Obasuyi, Prest Aigbokhian, Mrs Uloaku Uzamere, Mr. Pius Efofan, Pius Okpere, Mr. Kola Edokpayi, Mrs Felicia Monyei and a representative of security agencies.

The Kaduna State government also inaugurated a similar commission, headed by Justice David Shiri Wyom (rtd) to probe allegations of police brutality.

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, described the constitution of the panel as “a firm signal that impunity will not be tolerated,” adding that the inquiry is aimed at establishing accountability for unlawful conduct by police personnel.

The seven-member panel has retired as members AIG Lawal Tanko (rtd), Mrs. Rebecca Sako-John and Mustapha Jumare as members representing the civil society, among others.

The commission has six months to conclude the assignment and submit its report.

Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State governor, who inaugurated the panel in Asaba, has said the inauguration of the panel is a step by his administration to bring restitution and healing to the victims of police brutality in the state.

The panel which has three months to complete its assignment was tasked by the governor to work very hard to ascertain the validity of claims brought before it and also make necessary recommendations and remedies to the state government.

Governor Samuel Ortom, during an inaugural ceremony of the 8 member panel of inquiry headed by justice Adam Unum, a former chief judge of the Benue judiciary at government house in Makurdi, said the decision is in compliance with resolutions of the National Economic Council (NEC), which directed that states- level judicial panels of inquiry be established in order to investigate cases of alleged police brutality with the view of bringing erring personnel to justice and compensate victims.

The governor said that the 8 man panel has 6 months to submit its report as he described those selected as men and women of integrity who have as well distinguished themselves in other assignments, expressing confidence that they will justify the confidence reposed on them by being thorough in the course of assignment.

Also, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti has inaugurated a 10-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry into alleged human rights violations by security personnel, especially the Special Anti- Robbery Squad.

The governor said that the panel headed by retired Justice Cornelius Akintayo, would sit for six months and submit its report with recommendations to the government.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry recently constituted by his administration to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality and/or related extra judicial killings in the state.

Gov. Ugwuanyi consequently announced Hon. Justice Kingsley Ude (Rtd) as Chairman. He also announced the founding Director of Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo (OON) and the President of International Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights Initiative, Comrade Osmond Ugwu as members representing the Civil Society Organizations.

The panel’s terms of reference, according to the governor, are “to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra-judicial killings; evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances and to draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and recommend compensations and other remedial measures”.

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state set up judicial panel of inquiry against police brutality, extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses in the state.

The panel is headed by retired chief justice of the state, Justice Alloy Nwankwo and seven others as members.

He enjoined the panel to investigate all human rights abuses and brutality as well as extra judicial killings perpetrated by SARS in the past in Imo State, if any. He also enjoined the members of the Commission to invite and take evidences from all victims of police brutality and extra-judicial killings, including from their families and friends.

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, inaugurated a 10-person judicial panel to look into the complaints of police brutality, human rights abuses, and extra-judicial killings by the protesters.

Describing members of the team as persons of high integrity and impeccable character, the governor assured them of the needed assistance to succeed in the assignment.

In the same vein, Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu raised an eight-member team for the same exercise in Ondo State.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, said membership of the panel comprises Justice Salisu Adesola Sidiq (rtd) as chairperson and Lanre Amuda as secretary.

The committee also has Mrs. Banke Oloba and Ifeanyi Odili, representing civil society organisations (CSOs).

Others are CP Samuel Adetuyi (rtd), Oluyemi Fasipe (youth representative); Leo Ologun (representative of the office of the state Attorney-General), and Sunday Oyewole (representative of the National Human Rights Commission).

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