Ekiti pays compensation to ENDSARS victims … As Governor restates commitment to administration of justice

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Gov fayemi

 

 

Gov fayemi
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has made a case for the
recognition and compensation of victims of crime as critical
stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice system in the
country.

The Governor stated this during the presentation of cheques to victims
of police brutality and ENDSARS protest in Ado-Ekiti on Monday.

The compensation amount varied depending of the gravity of claims by
the victims, and was based on the recommendations of the Judicial
Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against
Police officers including officers of the now defunct Special
Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the State.

The panel headed by Justice Cornelius Adetayo was set up at the wake
of the ENDSARS protest last year, and was given six months to look
into cases of human rights violations and make appropriate
recommendations to government.

Speaking at the event, Governor Fayemi observed that the judicial
system most often get engrossed with the offenders at the detriment of
the social, financial, psychological and physical damage suffered by
the victim of crime.

While presenting cheques to the first batch of 25 petitioners, Dr
Fayemi said the gesture was to provide remedial measures for some of
the cases of grave human rights violations brought about by abuse of
police powers as well as the violence, loss of lives and destruction
of properties occasioned by the protest.

Dr Fayemi, explained that his administration decided to award
compensation to victims of the protest before the expiration of the
six months tenure given to the judiciary panel, to set in motion
processes and systems that would continue to guarantee effective and
appropriate redress for victims.

To further strengthen the equitable dispensation of justice and
provision of remedy for victims of crime in the State, Dr Fayemi
disclosed that his administration is poised on reviewing the State
criminal law with a view to ensuring that victims are recognized as
important stakeholders in criminal justice system.

The Governor, also disclosed that his administration has published a
Charter for victims of crime in the State and it is in the process of
ensuring that all state justice institutions, relevant government
departments and security agencies mainstream the charter into their
operations.

The Charter, according to him, clearly stated government policy on how
victims of crime should be treated and support to ameliorate the
effect of the injury inflicted on them during the crime.

He further announced that the State House of Assembly has commenced
review of the Ekiti State criminal Code Law with the aim of ensuring
that the interest of an offender does not over ride that of the victim
of the offence.

Dr Fayemi also expressed the readiness of his administration not only
to make justice accessible to all but also to actively participate in
the ongoing national agitations and conversation on police reforms.

He said, “At the inauguration of the Judicial Panel of inquiry into
Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against Police officers
including officers of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, I
assured victims of abuse of police powers that they will get justice
irrespective of their economic status, ethnic background, gender or
any other difference. I also said that any police officer that suffers
rights violation in the course of duty would get justice. I am pleased
that we are able to honour this commitment today.

“My administration recognizes that enforcing the rights of victims
require efficient institutions without which our laws and policies may
not be sustainable. The Judiciary and the Ministry of Justice are
important institutions in this regard. One of our strategic goals for
the administration of justice is to have an adequate network of
accessible and service oriented courts across all communities in Ekiti
State.

“May I once again formally apologise to all the victims of rights
violations as recognised by the Judicial Panel for the hurt they
experienced and the loss that they suffered. It is my hope that this
monetary compensation will contribute to repairing your financial loss
and other psychological and physical injuries that you have suffered.
Please accept my very best wishes as you continue the process of
rebuilding your lives.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Judicial panel, Justice
Cornelius Akintayo commended the State Government for implementing the
recommendations of the panel.

He added that aside monetary compensation, the panel also recommended
the employment of some of the petitioners to provide permanent remedy
for the injury they suffered in the cause of the protest.
One of the petitioners, Mr Olugbolade Cole who spoke on behalf of
others, commended the Governor for his swift response to the
petitioners’ cries for justice via timely implementation of the
panel’s recommendations.

Cole, a practising journalists said he and the other petitioners felt
greatly relieved by the government’s gesture in addition to the
justice that was done to their cases.

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