Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, has inaugurated a seven-man judicial panel of inquiry to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violations committed by operatives of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS).
The governor who made the announcement during a live address at the state house in Marina on Thursday, said he took action based on agreements reached at the national economic council (NEC) meeting presided over by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and attended by all the governors.
Sanwo-Olu said the development is in line with the five-point demands by youths demonstrating against police brutality, adding that the objective is to bring erring officers to justice and get compensation for the victims.
The governor said the panel is comprised of three individuals representing civil society, one security agency representative, government representative, human rights activist and a representative of the human rights commission.
“I attended a National Economic Council Sub-Committee Meeting in which the major focus was the ongoing EndSARS protests and the necessary steps to take to assuage the feelings of the protesters. In line with the five-point demands of the protesters, we unanimously decided to inaugurate a panel of investigation into human rights abuses,” he said.
“A seven-member Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses in Lagos State is now being constituted. This panel will ensure that all those with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality get justice and receive compensation. The panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi.
“Other panel members are Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the civil society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired deputy inspector general of police), Ms Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society), Mr. Segun Awosanya (human rights activist), Mrs. Olutoyin Odusanya (director, Lagos Citizens Mediation Center), as well as a representative of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.”
The governor had earlier announced that a N200 million trust fund has been established for the compensation of victims and families of those who died in the course of SARS’ activities.
He said members of the public can petition the panel against SARS actions by contacting the help desk on the numbers: 0901 051 3203, 0901 051 3204 and 0901 051 3205.