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Ekiti inaugurates judicial panel of inquiry on human rights violations

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Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has inaugurated a 10-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry into alleged human rights violations by security personnel, especially the dissolved Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police.

This is contained in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday by Olayinka Oyebode, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor.

The governor said that the 10 member judicial panel headed by Justice Cornelius Akintayo (Rtd), would sit for six months and submits its report with recommendations to the government.

Members include Dipo Ayeni, Commissioner of Police (Rtd); Yetunde Kolawole, State Counsel- (Representing the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice) and Kikelomo Owolabi, Chairperson, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikere-Ekiti Branch.

The list also include Rotimi Ojomoyela, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ekiti State Council; Jamiu Abiodun Adigun, Representative, National Human Rights Commission and Adeyinka Opaleke, Representative, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria.

Others are Caroline Fakinlede, Ekiti State Youths Representative; Abiola Johnson-Ogunleye, Ekiti State Students Representative; and Akin Rotimi, Researcher, Policy Reforms.

The terms of reference of the Panel are: to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra-judicial killings, receive and investigate complaints of violence against individuals and destruction of properties in Ekiti State in the course of the protest.

The panel is also to evaluate the evidence presented and other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

The statement said that the chairman of the panel is expected to provide monthly briefings to the Attorney- General, and Commissioner for Justice to further enhance the speedy consideration of all complaints.

It also said that Fayemi had directed the establishment of a compensation fund to enable the speedy payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims.

The governor further directed the Ministry of Justice to immediately ensure that its Department of Citizens Rights received walk-in complaints of Human Rights violation and through telephone or social media channels.

The inauguration of the panel followed the directive by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that states should constitute panels of inquiry to investigate extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses by the SARS.

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