By Jethro Ibileke
Chairman of the judicial panel of inquiry set up by Edo State Government in the wake of the #EndSARS protest, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (Rtd), has assured all victims of human rights violation, extra-judicial killings and police brutality to address their complaints without fear or favour.
She gave the assurance on Tuesday in Benin, during the inaugural sitting of the panel.
Ehigiamusoe called on all who had suffered one form of injustice or the other to come forward with their petitions and concrete evidences with verifiable phone numbers and addresses.
She noted that the state government is committed to ensuring that the rights of persons in the state are respected and protected by the security agents.
She said: “The panel invites and encourages all persons who are victims of brutality by the security agents in Edo State to come forward with their genuine complaints and grievances, including evidence of these.”
The chairman of the 20-member panel who further assured that the panel would perform its duty, reeled out some of the terms of reference of the panel to include to receive and investigate complaints of brutality by security agents, human rights violation or related extra judicial killings in the state.
It also include evaluating evidences presented and other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints, recommend compensations and other remedial measures where appropriate.
Others are, to ascertain the officers responsible for the abuse of victims and recommend their prosecution were applicable and to make recommendations to the Edo State Government on how to ensure that security agents no longer abuse the rights of citizens.
Ehigiamusoe, who disclosed that proceedings would opened between 10am and 4pm daily to every member of the public, urged all victims to submit their petitions on or before November 29, 2020.
“Physical submission of petitions or oral lodging of complaints shall be at the civic center between Block C and Block D, new secretariat complex opposite EFCC office, Benin City, Edo State every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,” she added.
In his remarks, Pius Oiwoh, Chairman, Benin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) commended the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, for deeming it wise to inaugurate the panel with representatives from different groups.
He assured that the association is willing to offer free services.