Worried by the continued #EndSARS protest across the country, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun yesterday inaugurated the State Judicial Panel of Investigation to look into cases harassment and brutality in the State by security operatives
The governor at the inauguration urged members of the panel to make fairness, firmness, dedication and objectivity their watchwords.
Prince Abiodun told them to shun all acts that could impact negatively on their assignment and equally asked stakeholders in the security, peace and conflict resolution processes as well as the mass media to give the Panel the needed support to succeed.
“Needless to remind you all of the import of your assignment to the continued peace and security of our dear State, in particular, and our great Nation, in general
“The people of our dear State await the outcome your assignment. Indeed, I expect you to commence your assignment immediately and hold inaugural meeting today,” he said.
“It is imperative that you make fairness, firmness, dedication and objectivity your watchword. You must shun all acts of which could impact negatively on your duty. In the same vein, I enjoin all stakeholders in the security; peace and conflict resolution process; the mass media; and, in fact all the people of our dear State to give this Judicial Panel of Investigation all the necessary support and cooperation needed for them to succeed”, he said.
According to the governor, “Though, this panel has six months to conclude this assignment, but, we will not wait for six months before we begin to implement. They will be taking the reports in phases so we can take immediate action”.
Abiodun said the terms of reference for the Judicial Panel of Investigation are to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, human right violation or related extra judicial killings in the state; evaluation of evidence presented or other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusion as to “the validity of the complaints and recommend compensation and other remedial measures more appropriate so that cheques can be issued; determine the officers responsible in the abuse of victims and recommend their prosecution, make recommendations to the Ogun State government on how to ensure that Security agencies no longer abuse the rights of our citizens.”
Abiodun who also added that his administration has put in place a conducive atmosphere for the panel to meet and receive memoranda from the public, noted that the panel can be reached at the Conference room of the New Judiciary Complex, Kobape, Abeokuta, through an email; [email protected] or through the following numbers; 07080601223, 07080601224 and 07080601225.
Aside the Judicial Panel of Investigation on Human Rights Abuses in the state, a Special Security and Human Rights Committee was also set up under the chairmanship of the governor, while the Human Rights Complaint Office with an Ombudsman and two other members was also set up.
While appealing to the youth to sheathe their swords, as their voices have been heard locally and globally, Prince Abiodun noted that governments at the different levels and the various agencies of government are already acceding to their requests, adding that the hosting of the NEC meeting and its resolutions are demonstrations of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari led-federal government to find long- lasting solutions to the issues raised by the protest.
Responding, the Chairman of the Panel, Retired Justice Solomon Olugbemi, thanked the governor for the confident reposed in him and his team, pledging that the panel would ensure that justice is served to everyone irrespective of social or political standing in the society.