Nigeria: #EndSARS - Fayemi Inaugurates Judicial Panel of Inquiry On Police Brutality

22 October 2020

The governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has inaugurated members of the state's Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations against Police Officers including disbanded SARS Operatives.

Mr Fayemi inaugurated the members at the Governor's Office in Ado Ekiti.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that Ekiti State constituted the panel to investigate police brutality in the state.

According to the statement released on the official Twitter page of the state government, Mr Fayemi also announced the establishment of a Victims Compensation Fund to enable speedy payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims.

This, according to him, would enable the panel to respond appropriately to the urgent needs of victims of rights violations.

Governor Fayemi, at the brief event, also apologised to victims of the #EndSARS protests in the state and assured the people of the state that his government would continue to take deliberate measures to protect lives and properties.

Mr Fayemi said his administration would not tolerate the criminalisation of young people in the state, adding that thorough investigation into cases of the brutalisation of innocent citizens during the course of the protests would also be carried out and promptly acted upon.

The inauguration of the judicial panel, chaired by a retired judge, Cornelius Akintayo, according to the governor, was the first step by his administration to demonstrate the to the concerns of #EndSARS protesters, adding that the panel would avail them the opportunity to speak openly about underlying issues of the agitations.

Other members of the panel include Dipo Ayeni (Rtd Commissioner of Police); Yetunde Kolawole, State Counsel (representing the Honourable Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice); Kikelomo Owolabi (Chairperson, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikere Ekiti Branch); Rotimi Ojomoyela (Chairperson, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ekiti State Council); Jamiu Adigun (Representative, National Human Rights Commission); Adeyinka Opaleke (Representative, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria); Akin Rotimi; Caroline Fakinlede (Ekiti State Youths Representative); Omowumi Deborah (Youth Representative); Asiwaju Oladimeji (Youth Representative) and Abiola Johnson-Ogunleye (Ekiti State Students Representative).

Mr Fayemi listed the terms of reference of the panel to include receiving and investigating complaints of police brutality or other related extra-judicial killings.

The panel, amongst others, is expected to receive and investigate complaints of violence against individuals, police officers, and other members of the security agencies in every part of Ekiti State in the course of the protest.

It would also evaluate the evidence presented and other surrounding circumstances in order to draw conclusions on the validity of the complaints received.

Governor Fayemi who said the panel has six months to carry out its assignment added that the panel is expected to recommend compensation and other remedial measures where appropriate.

Mr Fayemi also disclosed that the chairperson of the panel would provide monthly briefings to the Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda, to further enhance the speedy consideration of all complaints.

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