Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has directed the immediate establishment of Judicial Panel of Inquiry in the state to look into allegations of human rights violations by Police Officers including officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other persons.
The Governor’s directive followed the various protests being staged in the state and across the country against brutality by officers and men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
This is contained in a statement signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode and made available to newsmen on Monday.
The names of the members of the judicial panel of inquiry set up to probe into allegations of human rights violations by police officers are : Hon Justice Cornelius Akintayo, retired judge of the Ekiti State High Court as Chairman, Mr Dipo Ayeni, retired commissioner of police, Mrs. Yetunde Kolawole, State Counsel- (Representing the Honourable Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice), Mrs. Kikelomo Owolabi, Chairperson, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikere-Ekiti Branch. and Mr. Rotimi Ojomoyela, Chair, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ekiti State Branch.
Others are : Mr. Jamiu Abiodun Adigun, Representative, National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Adeyinka Opaleke, Representative, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Ms. Caroline Fakinlede, Ekiti State Youths Representative, Mr. Abiola Johnson-Ogunleye- Ekiti State Students Representative
and Mr. Akin Rotimi, Researcher, Police Reforms.
According to the Governor, the Terms of Reference of the Judicial Panel include : to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra-judicial killings; receive and Investigate complaints of violence against individuals and destruction of properties in every part of Ekiti State in the course of the protest.
The panel will also evaluate evidence presented and other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.
Fayemi said the duration of the assignment of the panel will be six months, the Chairman of the panel will be expected to provide monthly briefings to the Honourable Attorney- General & Commissioner for Justice to further enhance the speedy consideration of all complaints.
“In order to enable the panel respond appropriately to the urgent needs of victims of rights violations, Mr. Governor has established a Victims Compensation Fund to enable the speedy payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims.
“Mr. Governor has further directed the Ministry of Justice to immediately ensure that its Department of Citizens Rights in addition to receiving walk-in complaints by victims of Human Rights violation is able to receive, process and resolve complaints by telephone or social media channels.”