Nigeria: Lagos - Panel On Police Brutality to Begin Sitting Tuesday

Protesters at an #EndSARS protest in Lagos in mid-October, 2020.
26 October 2020

The judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos state government to investigate all issues of police brutality in the state will commence sitting on Tuesday.

The eight-man panel which was sworn in by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will sit for six months to investigate claims of police brutality, bring erring officers to justice and recommend compensation for victims.

The panel was set up on the heels of the #EndSARS protest, a campaign against police brutality, extra judicial killings, harassment and unlawful extortion, which has now turned violent.

The panel is led by Doris Okuwobi, a retired justice and comprises members from the civil society, human rights Ccmmission, citizens mediation center and two representatives from the youth.

Modalities

Addressing the press on Monday at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Lekki, Mrs Okuwobi said the hearing will commence on Tuesday after the representatives of the youth have been sworn into the panel.

She said the youth sent in their nominations late "and the lawful thing is for them to be sworn in before they are part of the panel./

"The panel is independent of the government, it is a judicial panel that was set up by the government, but we have all the power to conduct proceedings, give recommendations and take whatever steps as we deem fit," Mrs Okuwobi said.

Other members of the panel are Ebun Adegboruwa (representing the Civil Society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police), Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society), Segun Awosanya (human rights activist), Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Lagos Citizens Mediation Center), and two representatives of the youth.

Oduala Olorunrinu and Majekodunmi Temitope were selected by the youth to represent them at the panel.

In addition to investigating verifiable cases of police brutality, harassment and extortion in Lagos, the panel will also investigate possible victims of the Lekki shooting.

Mrs Okuwobi said the panel is ready to commence work.

Petitions

As of Monday, about 15 petitions on police brutality, harassment and extortion have been submitted to the panel, the retired judge disclosed.

"I will like to state that we are not going to wait until the end of the exercise until compensation is paid to those who have been recommended for compensation," she said.

Lagos residents with verifiable cases of police brutality, extortion and harassment are encouraged to submit their petitions to the panel and be available for hearings.

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