EndSARS: Ekiti State Judicial Panel commences sitting Nov 2, – As panel liberalizes process of filing petitions

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The Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Human
Rights Violations against Police Officers including disbanded SARS
Operatives has commenced its activities with a call on citizens of the
state to start submitting petitions ahead of its November 2, inaugural
sitting.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Olawale
Fapohunda, disclosed this in Ado-Ekiti on Monday while giving an
update on activities of the judicial panel. He said the panel had
liberalized the process of filing petitions that will make it
convenient for anyone from any part of the state to file their
petitions without going through any form of stress.
The Attorney General explained that the partnership with various
institutions and individuals was to ensure that everyone whose rights
had been violated either by SARS operatives, police officers, uniform
men or any other persons had an opportunity to submit their complaint
to the panel through designated groups, individuals and places.
He stated that the expectation of the State Government was that the
sittings of the judicial panel will give the youths an opportunity to
speak openly about their experiences. This, according to him would
enable the panel have a better understanding of the depth of the
problem and most importantly find a sustainable solution.
He added that the Dr Kayode Fayemi-led administration would henceforth
not condone any form of abuse and criminalization of young people
irrespective of the clothes they wear, their hairstyle, or the type of
phone they own.
According to him, “The Judicial Panel has the mandate to receive and
investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra-judicial
killings; receive and investigate complaints of violence against
police officers during protests in Ekiti State; receive and
Investigate complaints of violence against individuals by protesters
in all parts of Ekiti State; evaluate evidence presented and other
surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of
the complaints; and recommend compensation and other remedial
measures, where appropriate.
“We have liberalized the process of submission of petitions. For
emphasis, petitions will be received by the secretariat through
multiple government and non-government persons and institutions. We
have enabled an e-mail account as well as a Facebook and twitter
account to enhance effective communication.
“I should also state that the petition does not have to follow any
strict format. A simple complaints letter, stating when and what
happened to the Petitioner, where it happened and identifying the
violator will suffice. We deliberately located the Secretariat in the
Department of Citizens Rights in the Ministry of Justice so that
Petitioners can also get help with writing the petition.
“Concerning the timeline, there have been a lot of concerns about the
2nd November deadline. A number of persons have said that this
timeframe is too short. Let me state clearly that the Panel will
continue to receive Petitions throughout its sittings. No one will be
shut out. We have included a time line in consideration for those
victims that require immediate support.”
He also clarified that filing of Petitions before the Panel is not
limited to victims of police abuse alone adding that concerned
individuals who have constructive ideas on how to improve policing in
Ekiti State in a manner that protects rights of citizens are also free
to submit petitions to the panel.

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