Oyo #ENDSARS Panel To Commence Deliberations On Final Report
The Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and Other Related Matters, also known as #EndSARS Panel, will soon commence deliberations on the final report on the petitions brought before it by members of the public.
This follows the conclusion of its public sittings on the 163 cases brought before it as they related to the violent #EndSARS protest against police brutality that rocked Ibadan, the state capital, last October.
The panel had, after its sitting, today, announced the conclusion of public hearings on all matters, after 63 sittings spanning over six months.
The Oyo #EndSARS Panel said it will begin the process of reviewing each petition through technical meetings and deliberations, which will lead to the final report that will be submitted to the state government for implementation.
The 10-man panel was set up and inuaugurated by Governor ‘Seyi Makinde
Seyi Makinde on 10 November, 2020 to, among others, receive and investigate police brutality on the latest extrajudicial killings; to evaluate evidence presented or/and other surrounding circumstances.
It was also mandated to draw conclusions as to the validity or otherwise of the complaints; recommend compensation and other remedial measures where appropriate.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Bolajoko Adeniji (rtd), who declared the winding up of its public sittings, held at the House of Chiefs, House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, said that the report will be submitted to the relevant authority in due course.
Justice Adeniji, a former Chief Judge of Oyo State, appreciated Governor ‘Seyi Makinde for appointing men and women of integrity, probity and honest disposition into the panel.
She equally appreciated the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubami Adeosun, the Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Bar Association and the police legal team, among others, for the different roles played, while the sittings lasted.
Justice Adeniji said: “It should be recalled that there were protests nationwide against police brutality, tagged #EndSARS, sometime in October 2020.
“The youths saw the protest as a means of expressing their bitter experiences at the hands of the Nigerian Police Force. The #EndSARS protesters presented what was termed Five for Five Demands to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Consequent upon the above, the Federal Government directed that all state governments should set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into petitions submitted by alleged victims of police brutality, victimisation and unlawful killings in the various states.
“Consequent upon the directive of the Federal Government, His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. ‘Seyi Makinde, set up a 10-man committee to form the judicial panel of inquiry in Oyo State.
“The panel was inaugurated on Tuesday 10th of November, 2020 to receive and investigate police brutality on the latest extrajudicial killings; to evaluate evidence presented or/and other surrounding circumstances.
“And [to] draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; recommend compensation and other remedial measures where appropriate.
“The panel’s inaugural meeting was held on Wednesday, 22nd of November, 2020 at the conference room of the Ministry of Justice. The purpose of this meeting was to set out the modus operandi of the panel and all other relevant logistics.
“Other and further meetings were also held on 23rd of December, 2020; 11th of January, 2021 and 19th of January, 2021 respectively at the same venue.
“The first sitting of the panel came up on 26th of January, 2021 at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan, having received 163 petitions. The petitions have been completed as of today, Tuesday, 13th July, 2021 to the glory of God.
“The work has been very strenuous and tasking but the panel members and all the stakeholders that are the petitioners, witnesses, police legal representatives, counsel, especially the pro-bono lawyers, news media men were all up to the task. The panel’s report will be submitted to the relevant authority in due course.”