The Ondo State judicial panel of inquiry probing alleged rights violation by operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has recommended the payment of about N755 million as claims and compensations to victims of police brutality in the state.
The chairman of the panel, Justice Salisu Sidiq, stated this while submitting the committee’s reports and recommendations to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in his office on Wednesday in Akure.
The panel was inaugurated by Governor Akeredolu on October 20, 2020, to address issues that led to the #ENDSARS protest in the state.
Sidiq said it received and heard 77 petitions out of which 14 were criminal and 63 civil matters/petitions.
He said the committee also recommended publication of apologies in national dailies, particularly, where reputation of victims had been tarnished.
He said: “Mr. Governor Sir, the panel, after careful consideration of its limitations in line with extant Supreme Court judgments on the powers of panels of inquiry to entertain res-judicata cases I suggest that it is high time a review is carried out on Section 84 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, (2004) to enable judgment creditors enjoy the fruit of their litigations
“On the issue of vandalised property, the panel, after various visits to the ‘locus in quos,’ observed that four out of the 18 local government areas namely – Akure South, Ondo west, Odigbo and Okitipupa were affected during the #ENDSARS protests.”
In his response, the governor thanked the panel for a job well done, especially the chairman for his transparency.
Akeredolu noted that human rights violation was one of the problems facing the country.
He promised to look at the recommendations and ensure the implementation.
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