We pray EndSARS doesn’t reoccur—
Obaseki…receives panel’s report
Nine months after, the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday received the report of the State’s judicial panel of inquiry on EndSARS riot and the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigeria Police Force that was disbanded last year.
Recall that on October 26, 2020, the Governor set up a 28-man panel and they were mandated to evaluate the evidence presented, other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusions as to the validity of their respective employment”.
Speaking at the brief Ceremony which held at Exco chamber at government house in Benin City, the governor described the EndSARS riot as a pointer to the fundamental injustices in Nigeria’s society, and a wake-up call for the ruling class to be committed to the yearnings of the Citizens.
The Governor, expressed gratitude to the chairman and the members for their diligence to get to the truth of the matter and assured of the implementation of the recommendations in the report.
He said: “I also want to appreciate the members of security agencies who were part of the panel. I can understand the pressures and tensions that would have existed in the deliberations and hearings in the last nine months.
“At this point, we have just received the report as government. We need to be able to go through the report with great diligence. I can assure you that we will look at each and every recommendations you have made.
“If we have any clarifications to seek, we will call you. Fortunately, this is a nationwide activity, and in our last National Economic Council meeting, it was decided that all States should submit their report on the investigation that were carried.
“So, we expect that we have both the national comprehensive response and Edo response to the unfortunate incidence that led to the destructions.
“On a final note, I want to say that the EndSARS demonstration of last year was a pointer to the fundamental injustices in our society, and that all of us, particularly political leaders in this Country, must begin to understand that if we do not listen to the yearnings of our people more; if we continue to carry on as if we are in power for ourselves, we pray that the situation of last year doesn’t occur. And if it does, the EndSARS we experience will be a joke”, he said.
Presenting the report, chairman of the judicial panel of Inquiry, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (Rted) to the governor in Benin City, said 135 petitions have been considered to receive awards pending the approval of the Governor.
According to her, “in the course of our proceedings, a total number of one hundred and seventy (170) petitions were filed. Twenty five (25) of same were struck out for lack of diligence. Ten(10) were dismissed for lacking in merit.
“Having struck out 25 petitions, dismissed 10 for lacking in diligence and merit respectively, the panel was left with 135 petitions which we have considered to be meritorious”, she said.
While recommending payment of compensations to the victims, The chairman, said, 10 of the 135 petition sought the enforcement of judgements of various high courts against the police for acts of brutality and extra-judicial killings.
“We recommended the payment of compensations to the victims and/or their families for the aforementioned acts of the police. We further recommended the enforcement of all the judgements in debts as granted by the courts which have not been complied with by the police till date.
“Further still, we bring to your Excellency’s kind attention the cases of the following petitioners: Ohimai Asekhame and Miracle Aihenlenokhoria. They were hit by stray and identifiable bullets respectively which resulted to amputation of limbs. We invite and appeal most passionately to your excellency to consider their plight in terms of possible employment”, he said.
Our Correspondent reports that the absence of Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki with his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu seems had stalled the initial submission of the panel’s report.