Petitioners with lawyers to Edo Judicial Panel of Inquiry Committee for victims of police brutality and other related abuses have threatened mass action over delay in releasing the panel’s report, stressing that the State government doesn’t contemplate flexible solutions to their plights.
Investigation revealed that the members are worried that the exercise may end up as a waste of time, resources considering the long journeys they made during the period, two months after finished treated about 170 petitions and made over N200 million recommendations as compensations to deserving persons whose petitions were considered by the panel.
According to the investigation, most members of the panel are reluctant in endorsing the panel’s report for onward transmission to Governor Godwin Obaseki over non-payment of agreed sitting allowances (entitlements) by the State Government.
Recall that the panel was inaugurated by Governor Obaseki on October 26, 2020 and Chaired by Hon. Justice Ada Ehigiamisoe (Rted) to address EndSARS riot victims in the State.
The Committee held inaugural sitting of the panel was held on November 5, 2021, but due to the bulk of work that was assigned to the panel, the State Government gave a six weeks extension period for its sitting to enable it tidy up its assignment.
Investigation further revealed that since the period of moratorium elapsed about two months ago, petitioners appear worried over the fate of the panel whose terms of reference include to “receive and investigate complaints of brutality by security agents and human rights violations or related extra judicial killings in the state.
The mandate of panel, according to Governor Godwin Obaseki, is to evaluate the evidence presented and other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusion as to the validity of the complaints.
The panel is also saddled with the responsibility to recommend compensation and other remedial measures where applicable and ascertain the officers responsible for the abuse of victims and recommend their prosecution were applicable.
Members of the panel that was contacted to speak to our Correspondent on the development, declined comments.