The Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation set up to investigate all alleged complaints against the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad,(SARS),following protests against the squad will on Thursday, October 5 kick start its maiden sitting.
Penpushing reports that, this was made known in a statement on Wednesday by the Secretary of the panel, Mrs Oluwatosin Ogundele,explaining that the sittings would be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at Magistrate Court,Isabo Abeokuta.
‘This is to inform the general public that the Judicial Panel of Investigation set up by the Ogun State Government to investigate complaints of victims on brutality and human rights violations would be having its first sitting on Thursday, 5th November, 2020’, Ogundele said.
‘The Panel’s sitting days would be Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays starting by 10am at the Magistrate Court 1, Isabo, Abeokuta. The sittings would be transparent and open. Media stations are invited to witness and cover the sittings while Covid-19 protocols must be observed’, she wrote.
Penpushing further reports that,Governor Dapo Abiodun recently inaugurated the panel held in his office in Abeokuta and called on members to make fairness, firmness, dedication and objectivity their watchwords and enjoined the panel to shun all acts which could impact negatively on their assignment.
The Governor also urged stakeholders in the security, peace and conflict resolution processes as well as the mass media to give the Panel the needed support to succeed.
“Needless to remind you all of the import of your assignment to the continued peace and security of our dear State, in particular, and our great Nation, in general. The people of our dear State await the outcome your assignment. Indeed, I expect you to commence your assignment immediately and hold inaugural meeting today’, he said.
“It is imperative that you make fairness, firmness, dedication and objectivity your watchword. You must shun all acts of which could impact negatively on your duty. In the same vein, I enjoin all stakeholders in the security; peace and conflict resolution process; the mass media; and, in fact all the people of our dear State to give this Judicial Panel of Investigation all the necessary support and cooperation needed for them to succeed”,Abiodun emphasised.
“Though this panel has 6 months to conclude this assignment, but, we will not wait for 6 months before we begin to implement. They will be taking the reports in phases so we can take immediate action,” Abiodun stated
The Governor explained that, the terms of reference for the Judicial Panel are to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, human right violation or related extra judicial killings in the state; evaluation of evidence presented or other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusion as to “the validity of the complaints and recommend compensation and other remedial measures more appropriate so that cheques can be issued; determine the officers responsible in the abuse of victims and recommend their prosecution, make recommendations to the Ogun State government on how to ensure that Security agencies no longer abuse the rights of our citizens.”
Penpushing further reports that, he also disclosed that his administration has put in place a conducive atmosphere for the panel to meet and receive memoranda from the public, noting that the panel can be reached at the conference room of the new judiciary complex, Kobape, Abeokuta, through an email; [email protected] or through the following numbers; 07080601223, 07080601224 and 07080601225.
The Governor in a related development, set up Judicial Panel of Investigation on Human Rights Abuses, a Special Security and Human Rights Committee headed by Governor, and, however, appealed to the protesting youths to sheathe their swords.
Penpushing also reports that, Abiodun assured that their voices have been heard locally and globally, adding that governments at all levels and the various agencies of government are already acceding to their requests, explaining that the hosting of the National Executive Council(NEC) meeting and its resolutions are demonstrations of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to find long- lasting solutions to the issues raised by the protest.
The Chairman of the Panel, Justice Solomon Olugbemi (rtd), in his response thanked the Governor for the confident repose in him and his team, pledging that the panel would ensure that justice is served to everyone irrespective of social or political standing in the society.