Obaseki’s absence delays respite for EndSARS victims

Obaseki’s absence delays respite for EndSARS victims

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The absence of Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki with his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu seems to have limited the good news for victims of police brutality in October EndSARS riot in the State.

There was however a twist of fate due to the inability of Chairman of Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry Committee, Hon. Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (Rted) on Monday June 5, 2021, which was the scheduled date.

But it was learnt that after a few hours of bedlam at the State House on Monday in Benin City, a top aide of the Governor, hinted the Chairman of the panel that the meeting will have to be reschedule for a later date, pending the arrival of the Governor before members of the panel left.

Recall that part of the mandate the Governor gave to the panel 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 task of recommending compensation and other remedial measures where applicable and ascertain the officers responsible for the abuse of victims and recommend their prosecution were applicable.

TheNewspad had reported that about 170 petitions and made over N200 million recommendations as compensations to deserving persons whose petitions were considered by the panel which held its inaugural sitting on November 5, 2021.

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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.

Most members of the panel were 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, according to investigation.

A few 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.

Due to the delay in getting respite, some petitioners with the lawyers to Edo Judicial Panel of Inquiry Committee for victims of police brutality and other related abuses, few months ago, threatened mass action over delay in releasing the panel’s report, accusing the State government of not contemplating flexible solutions to their plights.

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