EndSARS: Gov Oyetola pledges full implementation on panel report

EndSARS: Gov Oyetola pledges full implementation on panel report

The Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra Judicial Killings, on Thursday presented its report to the State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, for consideration and implementation.

This is even as the Governor pledged his Administration's readiness to implement the recommendations of the Panel in a manner that shall ensure that justice is served to all concerned.

Recall that the Panel which was inaugurated by Governor Oyetola, on 22nd of October, 2020 was charged to unravel matters relating to police brutality, human rights violations and related extra judicial killings in the State.

Speaking during the presentation of the report at the Executive Council's Lounge, Governor's Office, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola said his Administration was fully committed to the instrument that would strengthen the weakest link of Omoluabi family chain in the State.

He said the Administration has instituted structures to ensure justice for all at all times, emphasizing that "we have resolved that never in our Omoluabi ecosystem shall our people be subjected to injustice by elements that are strange to us."

Oyetola noted that his Administration has been harnessing the available resources
to take care of the interest of the youth and the people as part of efforts to empower them to find useful expressions for their innate talents, skills and competencies so that they can contribute their quota to the development of the State.

He said: "You will all recall that about nine months ago, we inaugurated this 12-member Panel, ably led by Justice Akin Oladimeji, a Rtd. Justice of the High Court, to grant justice to the weak.

"The Panel had a six- month deadline to submit its report. In line with their training, integrity and professional dictum that justice delayed is justice denied, the panel are here today to present their report.

"There is no doubt that the tissues of injustice that gave rise to this Panel are strange to us. They are alien to the elements that announced us to the world as the most peaceful State in Nigeria.

"The inherent canvass of injustice is out of character to us and they were the reasons we rose to the occasion to give justice to the oppressed no matter the costs, as we believe no price is too much to pay for justice and peace.

"We resolved to heal the wounds of those that hurt among us so as to reintegrate them into our fold, get the best out of them and move on as one big, strong family.

"As a people, we reject a culture that reduced our citizens to victims of injustice and democracy they fought hard to enthrone in their fatherland.

"Today, we shall determine to work together as a family and take the weakest of the weak by the hand as we walk the lane of sustainable freedom, progress, peace and development.

"We have instituted structures to ensure justice for all at all times. We have resolved that never in our Omoluabi ecosystem shall our people be subjected to injustice by elements that are strange to us. Going forward, let us resolve to make all the external and internal institutions and individual citizens to conform to our Omoluabi ethos to build a State we shall forever be proud of.

"The heroes of this initiative are the weakest of the weak among us who slammed the door against hope in the face of tyranny and oppression but woke up the following day to discover that hope was at their doorsteps.

"I assure them and the good people of Osun that we shall implement the recommendations of this Panel in a manner that shall ensure that justice is served to all people."

Governor Oyetola commended members of the Panel for giving their best to comfort the oppressed and to strengthen the weakest in the society.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Akin David Oladimeji (rtd.) disclosed that out of 34 memoranda received, a total of 13 of the 34 petitions considered were however dismissed/struck out for various reasons as stated in the report.

He said the reasons for the dismissal of the said petitions ranged from personal withdrawal by the petitioners, lack of diligent prosecutions, lack of competence and being outside the panel's terms of reference.

Justice Oladimeji noted that 23 petitions were considered on merit out of which two were dismissed after hearing. He said recommendations were given by the panel in respect of 21 which are contained in the report that is being submitted to Governor for consideration and further action.

According to him, the Panel, in the course of its sitting, observed that the major problems confronting the country were caused by the police, hence the need for the Panel to make some recommendations, including ensuring proper recruitment into the Police Force or any other security agency without political consideration and subjection of appointed officers to psychiatric test.

"The panel also observed that all the security agencies in the country lack proper monitoring and recommended that the Federal Government should establish an independent body to be saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the affairs of police and other security agencies.

"Also, it was observed that almost one third of the petitions received by the panel has judgement debts with huge amount of money to be enforced against the Nigeria Police Force, most of which were not defended in court as a result of which the panel recommended that the Police Service Commission should look into the and address situations whereby law suits filed against the Nigeria Police are often not defended by the Police, thereby resulting in huge Judgment debts against the Nigeria Police," Oladimeji stated.

While imploring the Governor to take a critical assessment of the report for proper implementation, Justice Oladimeji noted that a thorough, and faithful implementation of the report will go a long way in resolving most of the challenges facing security architecture in the country and Osun State in particular.

Justice Oladimeji added that the prompt action of the government on the report would further help to restore the hope of getting justice for infractions or violations of Fundamental Human Rights as guaranteed and enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said the Panel had taken the interest of all into consideration in making its recommendations for the monetary awards.

"As we are presenting this report, we await the Government decision on it and it is very important to note that it is the Government that is constitutionally empowered to pay compensation. Our recommendations are subject to acceptability by Government.

"It is worthy of note that in making our recommendations for the monetary awards, we took into consideration the interest of all stakeholders in ensuring that justice is done," Oladimeji added.