Lagos Judicial Panel receives 15 petitions of EndSARS abuses

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The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for victims of #EndSARS-related abuses and the October 20 Lekki Tollgate shootings has received 15 petitions from victims of abuses.

The petition is coming barely one week after the panel was constituted.

The chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd), made this known while speaking with the press yesterday.

She urged victims of SARS abuse to come forward with their petition while stating that the panel is independent of the government and will ensure that individuals with valid complaints of human rights violations receive justice.

She said: “If their cases are disposed of in a month or two, compensation if recommended would go to the victims immediately to assuage their pain

“We are looking forward to memoranda from those affected by the unfortunate incident of the shooting at the Lekki Tollgate plaza by the military.

Okuwobi said the panel will formally commence today, October 27, 2020.

“We are indeed ready to commence the public sitting. The petitions are here without the petitioners around, the panel will start full proceedings tomorrow, October 27,” adding that the panel alongside the civil society will look into the killings at the Lekki Tollgate Plaza.

“This is to ensure that there will be good evidence to assist the panel make appropriate recommendations in respect of all terms of reference of the panel,” she said.

Meanwhile the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata who was present at the proceedings said that the NBA will be partnering with the judicial panel and will also provide pro bono services to affected victims.

He said: “The NBA is here to help victims of the now disbanded SARS and other human rights violations to properly articulate their petitions to this panel pro bono. This will be done in Lagos and around the country.

“The NBA will participate in observatory capacity to ensure that all goes well and ensure that justice is actually served. Our best hands will be available throughout the sittings of the panel.

“We look forward to justice being done and the recommendations of the panel for those who have been badly treated by institutions that have been set up to protect them.”

The panel is made up of the Chairman, Okuwobi; Mr Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN) and Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police and a founding member of SARS.

Other panelists are: Mrs Oluwatoyin Odusanya, Director, Lagos State Directorate of Citizen’s Rights and Ms Patience Udoh, a representative of the civil society groups and Mr. Segun Awosanya (segalink) a human rights activist.

In the light of this, the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has warned citizens to reject all items suspected to have been looted or stolen by criminals who wreaked havoc during the protests.

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