Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has inaugurated an eight-member panel of inquiry to look into the demands of the #EndSARS protesters.
Inaugurating the panel on Monday, Sanwo-Olu said his government wholeheartedly identified with the protesters call for police reform.
He stated that his administration had zero tolerance for police brutality.
The panel, which has six months to complete its job, is chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi with Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN representing the Civil Society; a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu as members,
Others are: Ms. Patience Udoh, representing the Civil Society; Mr. Segun Awosanya, Human Rights Activist; Mrs. Olutoyin Odusanya, Director, Citizens Mediation Center.
The panel is also expected to have representatives of the protesting youths as well as a representative of the Human Rights Commission.
Sanwo-Olu assured that as soon as such persons made themselves available, they would be sworn in.
Meanwhile, the panel set to work immediately after being inaugurated as the governor appealed to Lagosians to put an end to the ongoing #EndPoliceBrutality protests across the state.
He announced a public helplines and a dedicated email address, [email protected], for citizens to submit petition(s) to the Panel on #EndSARS matters.
The governor stated: “We identify wholeheartedly with the calls for reforms of the Police.
“A better run and administered Police force would undoubtedly be to the advantage of the Government and all residents of the state.
“Our stance is Zero tolerance for Police Brutality.”
According to Sanwo-Olu, “The setting up of the Judicial Panel is a very important step in the journey to reforming the Police.
“We urge all citizens of Lagos to partner with us in this journey. We appreciate and recognize the efforts of the youths which has made this necessary change inevitable.”
The terms of reference for the panel are as follows;
To listen to & take evidence from all victims or the families of victims of SARS abuse within Lagos State (somewhat akin to what the Truth and Reconciliation Committee did in some countries). This would enable all victims & their families air and vent their grievances in public.
The Judicial Panel after listening to victims or their families would then determine whether any victim or the dependents of such victims are entitled to compensation and the amount of compensation payable.
Upon determining the compensation payable, the Judicial Panel is to immediately issue a check in favour of the victim or their dependents.
The Judicial Panel is also to determine the officers (or anyone for that matter) responsible for abusing any victim and to recommend the prosecution of such persons.
The Panel shall also have powers to make recommendations to Government on how to ensure that the Police and all security agencies never abuse the rights of citizens again.
The Panel has the powers to compel and summon witnesses to appear before it. The State Government expects the Panel to use these powers to ensure that all necessary parties appear before the Panel to testify.