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Adegboruwa alleges meddling as Lagos panel receives 15 petitions

By Joseph Onyekwere, Bertram Nwannekanma, Yetunde Ayobami Ojo (Lagos), Ayodele Afolabi (Ado Ekiti) and Matthew Ogune (Abuja)
27 October 2020   |   2:58 am
• Ekiti panel to begin sitting November 2 • PWDs lament non-inclusion in commissions The Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS-related abuses and the Lekki Tollgate killings in Lagos State has received not less than 15 petitions from victims of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) abuse. Chairman of the panel,…

Ekiti panel to begin sitting November 2
• PWDs lament non-inclusion in commissions

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS-related abuses and the Lekki Tollgate killings in Lagos State has received not less than 15 petitions from victims of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) abuse.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd.), disclosed this yesterday.

However, a member of the panel, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN), has raised the alarm of suspected executive interference in the panel’s work.

The panel further asked the general public to come forward with their petition relating to the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by men in Nigerian military camouflage on October 20, 2020.

Other members of the panel include Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, a retired Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) of Police and founding member of SARS; Mrs. Oluwatoyin Odusanya, Director, Lagos State Directorate of Citizen’s Rights; Ms Patience Udoh, a representative of civil society groups; and Mr. Segun Awosanya, a human rights activist.

The panel will sit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, for six months.

Adegboruwa called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to allow the panel full autonomy and independence as he promised at the time of inauguration.

He lamented that the visit of the governor and some of his colleagues to the scene of the shooting in Lekki, where they tampered with some exhibits, usurped the powers of the panel.

EKITI State Government has disclosed that the panel to investigate cases of police brutality and rights abuses in the state will commence sitting on November 2, 2020.

The panel, it added, will look beyond police brutality to cases of violation of human rights and the EndSARS protests.

The government had last week constituted a 10-man commission led by a retired judge in Ekiti, Justice Cornelius Akintayo. It will also sit for six months.

BUT the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is worried that none of its members was included in the committees set up either at the state or federal level to look into series of atrocities committed by SARS before its disbandment.

CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, wondered why the people mostly affected would be left out of the panels.

He noted that the population of persons with disabilities has consistently increased as a result SARS operations.

“Unfortunately, many people suffered disability during the protests as a result of excessive use of force by the security operatives,” he added.