Governor Godwin Obaseki: sets up judicial panel of enquiry on police brutality

By Jethro Ibileke

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has set up a 12-man judicial panel of inquiry into circumstances surrounding the #EndSARS protests in the state.

The Secretary to the state government, Osarodion Ogie, in a statement on Monday, said that the panel has 90 days to complete the assignment.

He added that 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 Hon. Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe, while Mrs. Joyce Ugbodaga is the Secretary to the committee.

Other members are Bishop Feb Idahosa, (Clergy); Francis Osayi, (ASUU); Comrade Osahon Obasuyi (NYC); Prest Aigbokhian (Civil Society); Mrs Uloaku Uzamere (NCWS); Comrade Pius Efofan (NANS).

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Pius Okpere and Comrade Kola Edokpayi are representing the #EndSARS Movement on the panel.

Another member is Mrs Felicia Monyei, from the Ministry of Justice, while two members will represent the security forces.

Ogie said the terms of reference of the panel are “to receive complaints and petitions from the general public, particularly, victims or relatives of victims of police brutality and extra-judicial killings.

It will recommend measures, including compensation and restitution, investigation and prosecution, as the circumstances warrant.

“To advise on compensation or restitution to the victims, or, where the victim has been killed, to the family of the victim, based on condition which shall be clearly laid out by the committee.

“To ensure that compensation is paid within 14 days of the decision to compensate.”

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The panel will also recommend and direct the Attorney-General to immediately prosecute all persons responsible for the various crimes committed.

It is expected to recommend measures to forestall reoccurrences in the future and make any other recommendations to government in furtherance of the mandate of this Committee.”

The statement further read: “The panel has been given 90 days to complete this assignment. All hearings will be open to the general public. All interested persons are advised to send their complaints, petitions and suggestions to the committee.

“The Edo state government fully ascribes to the ideals of the #EndSARS movement, which is driven by the desire for a new Nigeria, within which no man or woman is oppressed, and within which all can realise their true potentials.

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“The reform and repositioning of the Nigerian Police Force is an integral part of this move, and therefore we call upon the Federal Government to speedily intervene and take immediate and concrete measures to strengthen the Nigerian Police Force, and ensure that all officers and men conduct themselves in a humane and efficient manner, in alignment with international best practices.”