By Romanus Okoye
The Lagos State Panel of Enquiry on Police Brutality sitting timeframe has been extended by three months. The panel, which will now sit till October 19, was supposed to have concluded its activities on April 19, but was given three months extension to July 19.
Doris Okuwobi, the chairperson of the panel, who announced the extension at the panel’s sitting said, “we now have an extension till October 19.”
Some states, including Edo and Oyo, had concluded the public sittings.
In October 2020, Nigerian youths took to the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by operatives of the now dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) under the #EndSARS campaign.
Like many other state governors, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, inaugurated a nine-man panel on October 19, 2020, to investigate cases of police abuses and human rights violations and provide restitution for victims.
The panel is led by Mrs Okuwobi, a retired judge. Other members are Ebun Adegboruwa (representing the Civil Society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police), Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society), Segun Awosanya (human rights activist), Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Lagos Citizens Mediation Center), and Temitope Majekodunmi, a youth representative.
They were given a six-month mandate, October 2020 till April 2021, to hear petitions submitted by victims, while N200 million was allocated by the Lagos state government as compensation.
On October 21, the panel’s mandate was expanded by the state government to also investigate the October 20, 2020 Lekki Toll shooting incident.