EndSARS: Lagos judicial panel concludes sitting, awards N410 million to 70 victims

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CNN Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry begun sitting on Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry began sitting on Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Following the events of the EndSARS protests, the Lagos State Judicial Panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses and other matters has held its valedictory sitting after 131 proceedings.

Justice Doris Okuwobi, the chairman of the panel announced the decisions of the panel on Monday and awarded the sum of N148.2 million to 23 deserving petitioners.

The petitioners include Michael Owoicho – N10 million, Fatai Ogunseye (late) – N10 million, Adeola Mukaila – N700,000, Stella Edegwa – N500,000, Akapo Adekunle – N10 million, Mustapha Ramot – N10 million, Kufre Jackson – N5 million, Ikechukwu Iloamuzor (late) – N10 million, Segun Adekoya (unlawful arrest by the police) – N1 million, Yusuf Omole – N10 million, and Segun Ishola (injuries sustained from gunshot) – N5 million.

Others are Mr and Mrs Julius Adeogun – N10 million, Okoronkwo Sylvester (late) – N10 million, Titi Agnes – N10 million, Prince Akaba – N500,000, Chukwudera Uba – N4 million, Seun Bamgbose – N10 million, Abayomi Likinyo – N4 million, James Arebha – N4 million, Juliana Adeoti – N1 million, Adaeze Samson – N2.5 million, Yemi Abdulkareem – N10 million, and Gabriel Ayedungbe – 10 million.

So far, the panel has awarded a total of N410 million to 70 victims.

The chairman disclosed that the panel had concluded its investigations into the shooting at the Lekki tollgate – one of the venues of the #EndSARS protests in Lagos.

She added that the report on the investigation is still in the works and would be submitted to the Lagos state government who will announce the report publicly.

The panel assured petitioners that its recommendations would include compensation to victims of the Lekki tollgate incident if any was identified.

According to the chairman, recommendations will also be made for policemen who were victims of the #EndSARS protests held in 2020.

She added that petitions that have been partly heard, and those that were not concluded or heard would be sent to the supervising Lagos State Ministry of Justice, which may set up a human rights body to handle them.

The judicial panel set up by the state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on October 19, 2020, was mandated to investigate cases of brutality and human rights abuses by the Police and its disbanded tactical unit.

On October 19, 2020, the Lagos State government inaugurated a nine-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violations perpetrated by the police and operatives of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The panel was also saddled with the investigation of the alleged shooting of protesters by the Nigerian Army on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki tollgate plaza.

It received 235 petitions between October and December 2020, while only 14 petitions were submitted on the alleged Lekki shooting incident.