Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state, on Monday October 19, inaugurated an eight man panel of inquiry to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violation committed by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS in the state.
The panel which is headed by Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi will sit for six months and is mandated to investigate all verifiable claims of abuses and fatalities arising from SARS activities in the state with the objective of getting erring officers punished and bringing compensation to victims.
Other members of the panel will include Ebun Adegboruwa SAN, a human rights activist who will be representing the civil society, Taiwo Lakani who is a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Miss Patience Udoh who is also to represent the civil society in the panel, EndSARS campaigner, Segun Awosanya aka Segalinks and Mrs. Toyin Odusanya, a director in the Lagos Citizen Mediator Center.
Segalinks was however not able to make the swearing-in as he was held up by traffic.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the youths in the state were yet to send in two nominees who would represent them in the panel of inquiry.
The panel’s assignment includes
-To listen & take evidence from all victims or the families of victims of SARS abuse within Lagos State (Like a Truth and Reconciliation Committee did in some countries) this would enable all victims and 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
-Upon determining the compensation payable the Judicial Panel is to immediately issue a cheque in favor 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 Judicial Panel shall also have powers to make recommendations to the Government on how to ensure that the Police and all security agencies never abuse the rights of citizens again.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the panel’s email is email@example.com while it’s telephone numbers are 0901 051 3203, 0901 051 3204 and 0901 051 3205.
Police re-arrest four prisoners who escaped from Edo prison
Four prisoners who escaped from Oko Prison during the #EndSARS crisis have been re-arrested by the police.
The suspects were paraded at the Nigeria Police Force tactical unit in Abuja, alongside others who were arrested for various offences bordering on armed robbery, car theft, unlawful possession of weapons, illegal dealing and selling of weapons.
The prisoners who escaped from the facility have been identified as Adebayo Opeyemi, Oloride Benjamin, Peter Osas, Hudu Musa and Frank Odion.
While Mr Opeyemi is a dismissed soldier, Mr Benjamin was convicted and sentenced to death and Mr Musa had nine months remaining to serve out his prison term.
It was gathered that the suspects have snatched a total of four vehicles since their escape. Mr Benjamin on the other hand, snatched a vehicle 30mins after he escaped because he needed to leave Benin City.
Northern Governors are not against disbandment of SARS – Governor Lalong
Governor Simon Lalong has made a clarification on the stance of Northern Governors on the disbandment of controversial police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Lalong who is the chairman of Northern Governors Forum on Wednesday November 18, said they are not against the scrapping of SARS contrary to some misconceptions in some quarters.
“The Northern Governors Forum is not against the disbandment of SARS as misconstrued in some quarters. We rather caution against the blanket condemnation of the police that can erode the confidence and zeal of the hardworking and honest ones in performing their duties of protecting lives and properties.”
Reiterating the region’s commitment in tackling the several challenges facing the region, Lalong said the forum will collaborate with Federal Government and security agencies to address the issues of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, and other criminal activities.
“We must tackle the current challenges of insecurity in the region which is dominated by insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, rape, child abuse and trafficking and other conflicts.
“We shall continue to work with the Federal Government and security agencies to tackle crime and criminality. That is why we have supported a comprehensive reform of police architecture in the country.”
CNN releases findings from its independent investigation on Lekki shooting; shares videos of what appears to be soldiers shooting directly at the crowd
CNN has released its findings from an independent investigation carried out on the October 20 shooting incident at the Lekki tollgate.
CNN shared footage of what appears to be soldiers shooting at the #EndSARS protesters who had gathered at the tollgate to press home their demands to end SARS as well as end police brutality.
CNN in its investigation spoke with a man, Elisha Sunday, whose brother, Victor, was killed during the October 20th shooting incident.
The media house also spoke with some of the protesters who were at the scene when the shooting occurred. They claim the soldiers indeed fired shots at them.
The media house also tracked the bullets shells seen at the Toll Gate and the companies that supplied the Nigerian Army Weapons since 2005
Recall Nigeria drew global attention when military men stormed the Lekki toll plaza where #EndSARS protesters gathered and fired gunshots.
Shortly after the incident, Governor Sanwo-Olu in a press conference stated that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. On October 26, the governor granted an interview to CNN where he stated that only two deaths were recorded from the incident. He added that he visited the scene the next day and couldn’t find bloodstains.
On the day of the incident, the Nigerian Army took to its Twitter handle to deny claims its personnel was at the scene of the incident.
On October 27, the Army broke its silence and alleged that the Lagos state governor invited them to help quell the violence that erupted after the protest was hijacked by hoodlums. Read here.
Watch the video from CNN’s independent investigation below