By Lukman Olabiyi
The Lagos Judicial Panel probing cases of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) abuses and other related matters in the state ended its sitting yesterday.
It ended its sitting compensating not lesser than 25 victims of police brutality with cheques of various sums.
The panel had, at May 14, awarded N68.25 million compensation to 12 petitioners. It received 235 petitions between October and December, 2020.
However, Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd), said the long-awaited report on its investigation of October 20, 2020, Lekki Tollgate ‘shootings’ is still being prepared. She revealed that investigation into the incident and taking of evidence and exhibits have been completed.
Justice Okuwobi noted that the panel’s recommendation would include compensation for victims if any for the Lekki Tollgate incident.
She said the petitions the panel could not visit owing to time constraints would be sent to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice which may set up a human rights body to address them.
The panel ought to have ended its sitting on Tuesday, October 19, however, it had its final sitting on yesterday due to the Maulid Nabiy public holiday.
Speaking to journalists, lead counsel to Lagos State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), said the judicial panel has healed the wounds of many victims of Police brutality and killings through the compensations awarded by the Justice Okuwobi-led panel.
He noted that apart from the compensations, the Judicial Panel through its ruling has also exonerated some victims from wrong doings and defamation of character, which according to him is even more bigger than the monetary compensations.
Speaking to journalists after the end of the siting, a victim of Police harassment, Miss Samson Adaeze Oluwatosin, who was compensated by the Judicial Panel with N2.5m, commended Lagos State Government for setting up the panel and for deeming it fit to compensates victims of Police brutality.