Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday inaugurated the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality to look into the cases of assault, illegal arrest, killings, brutality and other forms of rights abuse by the officers and men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police and the death of two persons at two different locations last Saturday.
Similarly, he appealed to the youths, who he noted are the genuine protesters, to give the government a chance to work on their demands by suspending their street protests.
He noted that the suspension would aid the security operatives to rid Osun of miscreants who have hijacked the protest for other pecuniary gains.
This was even as the governor tasked the panel on fairness, equity and justice.
The setting up of the Panel is in keeping with Section 2:1 of the Commission of Inquiry Law Cap 29, Laws of State of Osun 2002 and in line with the directive of the Federal Government to all the 36 governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
The 12-man newly-inaugurated Panel is chaired by a retired Judge of the High Court, Hon. Justice Akinola Oladimeji. Members of the Panel are Prof. Wasiu Oyedokun representing Civil Society Organisation; Chairman Osun State Chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Comrade Ismail Abdul-Aziz; Prof. Grace Akinola representing the academia.
Others are Biodun Layonu, SAN; Retired DIG of Police, Mr. Jide Akano; Social Activist Jumoke Ogunkeyede; President National Association of Osun State Students NAOS, Teslim Salaudeen; Comrade Oluwasegun Idowu, representing Civil Society Organisation; Chairman, NBA Osogbo Branch, Abdulrahman Okunade; Mrs. Kemi Bello, representing Ministry of Justice, Osun – Secretary to the Panel.
Inaugurating the Panel at the Government House, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola said the decision was to further validate one key attribute, “keeping faith with promises made”, to which his administration has been known for since it came on board about two years ago.
Governor Oyetola who described security and welfare of the citizens as the fundamental objectives of his administration expressed confidence in the ability of the Panel to unravel all alleged matters and provide justice for all.
While speaking on the Terms of Reference of the panel, Oyetola said the panel has been empowered to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality, human rights violations and related extra judicial killings.
The Panel according to the Governor has been tasked to evaluate evidence presented or other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints and recommend indicted police officers involved in brutality to the Police Authorities for appropriate discipline and prosecution as appropriate.
He said further that the Panel would also recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate, to appease the victims of police brutality.
The Panel is also empowered to investigate the violent attack carried out against the. governor and his entourage at Olaiya roundabout on 17th October, 2020 and make appropriate recommendations.
According to the Governor, the Panel is expected to round off its assignment within six months.
In his response, the Chairman of the Panel, Hon. Justice Akin Oladimeji thanked the Governor for counting him and his members worthy to serve the State in the capacity of providing justice for the abused.
He pledged the commitment of the Panel to discharge its statutory responsibilities within the ambit of the law with utmost sincerity, fairness, equity, integrity and honesty.