EKITI PANEL ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES PROMISES JUSTICE WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR

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The Chairman, Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into allegations
of Human Rights Violations against Police officers including officers
of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other Persons, Justice
Cornelius Akintayo (Rtd) said that the panel will do justice to all
petitions before it without fear or favour.
Justice Cornelius made this known during the opening session of the
panel held at the Fountain Hotel, Trade Fair Complex, Iyin Road,
Ado-Ekiti.
He said that the panel will act independently on the facts before it
and make recommendations appropriately.
The Chairman who called on Ekiti people to use all the available
window of opportunities provided by government to the people to
express their grievances and get adequate justice, maintained that it
is a rare privilege to have this type of opportunity to address
impunity in the society.
The retired Jurist made it clear that the panel will observe all the
rules of fair hearing by inviting all the parties involved in each
petition which will assist the panel to concentrate on finding the
root cause of the problem with the aim of restoring peace to our
society.
He warned that it is an offence to bring fictitious evidence to the
panel saying that professionals like the medical practitioner and
other related professionals to the case will be invited to ascertain
the veracity of the evidence in question.
Other people that made statements at the occasion are Youths
Representative, Women Representative, Nigerian Union of Journalists,
Civil Society Organisation, Nigerian Medical Association, Nigerian Bar
Association and Commissioner of Police.
They all agreed that people’s displeasure concerning dehumanizing
treatments melted out to the masses brought about the actions of
social unrest displayed during the #EndSars protest across the nation
recently.
They also stressed further that people across the State want justice
to arise from fair hearing which they have confidence that the panel
will display.
The representatives pledged their supports for the panel in carrying
out their task which is believed to be the only way to restore peace
into the society.
At the occasion, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice,
Olawale Fapohunda, Esq stated that the vision of the State transcends
the sittings of the panel and its outcomes, that the panel will
facilitate a long overdue dialogue and interaction between the youth
population as well as government and non-government justice
institutions and also that a deep understanding of the workings of the
justice institutions must be a necessary deliverable in responding to
the demands of the Ekiti State chapter of EndSARS agitations.
Fapohunda stated that before the EndSARS protests; Ekiti State
government has begun a painstaking process of bringing justice to the
people with the creation of multiple channels of dealing with human
rights violation by strengthening the Directorate of Citizens Rights
and the Office of the Public Defender.
The Attorney-General said that the State Government has embarked on a
holistic review of the Criminal Code Law of Ekiti State to ensure that
persons who come into conflict with the law are dealt with speedily
and efficiently.
He said that Governor Fayemi has directed a holistic review of our
engagements with the public as it relates to citizens awareness and
that innovative ways of using technology and social media to improve
efficiency and outreaches are now being adopted.
He further said, “The government of Ekiti State has deliberately
proposed a unique term of reference for the consideration of the
panel. There is the agitation that victims of police abuse including
abuse from the now disbanded SARS should be heard without prejudice to
the rights of police officers some of whom have been victims of
violence. The mandate of the panel covers all persons who have been
victims of the EndSARS protests especially from individuals who hid
under the legitimate protesters to maim, rob and rape innocent
citizens.
Fapohunda also stated that the State Government looks forward to the
outcome of the panel hoping that it will give succor to as many that
want justice and accountability.
The panel which has six months to submit her reports adjourned sitting
to Thursday, 5th November, 2020 when all petitions shall be mentioned
and assigned.

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