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Weekly Updates on #EndSARS Judicial Panels of Inquiry – No. 18
5th - 21st March 2021
The Judicial Panels of Inquiry set up across Nigeria to investigate the excesses of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies have continued sittings in the FCT and these 11 states in the week under review: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Taraba.
The ongoing Judicial Panels of Inquiry provides an opportunity for the Nigerian government at the federal and state levels to meet major yearnings of Nigerians, which is justice for all victims and survivors of police brutality and implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Panels. The Judicial Panels of Inquiry are a response to the 5 for 5 demands of the #EndSARS Movement for accountability; end to impunity for police violence in Nigeria and justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
On Monday, March 15, 2021 the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, presented cheques to victims of human rights violations totalling a sum of N7.4 million. The cheques were paid to petitioners who were awarded compensations by the Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into cases of human rights abuses by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). During the presentation, the Governor apologised to the victims of police brutality for the hurt and negative psychological effects of their experiences.
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, The Akwa Ibom State Panel ended its public hearing and officially closed the Panel’s assignment. The Panel is expected to submit its Final Report and recommendations to the state government for implementation.
The Human Rights Special Intervention Group (HRSIG) in Kogi on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at its inaugural sitting received six petitions and complaints on human right violations by law enforcement agencies in the state. The HRSIG functions as the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up in the state. The Chairman of HRSIG in Kogi State, Barr. Ibrahim Alhassan, disclosed this at a Public Hearing on #EndSARS Protest, Complaints and Petitions on Human Rights Violations and Brutality By Law Enforcement Agencies. The HRSIG was constituted by the Kogi State Government through the office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC).
Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara States have consistently refused to constitute Judicial Panels of Inquiry in total disregard of the directive of the National Economic Council (NEC) to establish Judicial Panels of Inquiry by governors in Nigeria to investigate complaints of police brutality and extra-judicial killings
Yiaga Africa and EiE Nigeria’s observation of the Panels of Inquiry will continue to provide information to
promote transparency and accountability and build citizens' confidence in the process.