Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu inaugurated an eight man panel of inquiry today 19th October, to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violation committed by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS in the state.
The panel which is headed by Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi will sit for six months and is mandated to investigate all verifiable claims of abuses and fatalities arising from SARS activities in the state with the objective of getting erring officers punished and bringing compensation to victims.
Other members of the panel will include Ebun Adegboruwa SAN, a human rights activist who will be representing the civil society, Taiwo Lakani who is a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Miss Patience Udoh who is also to represent the civil society in the panel, EndSARS campaigner, Segun Awosanya aka Segalinks and Mrs. Toyin Odusanya, a director in the Lagos Citizen Mediator Center.
The panel’s assignment includes
-To listen & take evidence from all victims or the families of victims of SARS abuse within Lagos State (Like a Truth and Reconciliation Committee did in some countries) this would enable all victims and their families air and vent their grievances in public.
-The Judicial Panel after listening to victims or their families would then determine whether any victim or the dependents of such victims are entitled to compensation and the amount of compensation
-Upon determining the compensation payable the Judicial Panel is to immediately issue a cheque in favor of the victim or their dependents.
-The Judicial Panel is also to determine the officers (or anyone for that matter) responsible for abusing any victim and to recommend the prosecution of such persons
-The Judicial Panel shall also have powers to make recommendations to the Government on how to ensure that the Police and all security agencies never abuse the rights of citizens again.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the panel’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org while it’s telephone numbers are 0901 051 3203, 0901 051 3204 and 0901 051 3205.