End SARS: Gov Abdulrazaq inaugurates judicial panel of inquiry

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, on Tuesday, inaugurated a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to hear the grievances of citizens who fell victims of alleged police brutality in the state.

This is part of the national efforts to calm frayed nerves, compensate victims, and reform the policing system, a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye said in Ilorin.

With SARSjudicialpanel@kwarastate.gov.ng as its email address, the panel will hold its inaugural meeting on Wednesday at the Governor’s office, while further modalities of their sittings and other details would be announced later, the statement stated.

Governor Abdulrazaq said the panel which has 90 days to carry out its assignment “Is a deliberate effort to hear out our people who are aggrieved in one way or the other by our policing system.

“This is particularly true for our young people who started the popular End SARS protest across the country, including Kwara State,” he added.

He said the effort was expected to birth a more people friendly policing system, which respects the right of every citizen and abhors all forms of abuses.

Terms of reference of the judicial panel include ” To receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, human rights abuses, violations and or extra judicial killings, evaluate evidences, presented, surrounding circumstances and draw conclusions on the validity of complaints, and recommend compensations, prosecutions and other remedial measures where appropriate.

Governor Abdulrazaq urged citizens, including End SARS protesters to embrace the windows of the panel to air their grievances and have same properly addressed by the government.

“Against this background, I inaugurate this panel in accordance with the power conferred on me by Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Cap 17 laws of Kwara State.

“I, therefore, urge every aggrieved person, including victims of such brutality to come forward with detailed evidences that would help the panel in its assignment,” he stated.

The state Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo, said the panel would receive complaints from every member of the public who may have cases of human rights abuses to report to the state government for restitution and possible prosecution.

Retired Justice Tunde Garba, chairman of the judicial panel, commended the governor for finding them worthy of the state assignment, saying ” It is indeed a task, a challenge and calling, which we pray Almighty Allah to assist and guide us in living up to the expectations of the majority of our people, including victims of alleged police brutality of the disbanded SARS.”

He sought the cooperation of the judiciary, traditional rulers, the protesters and the general public.

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