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Lagos Panel of Inquiry begins sitting, summons police commissioner

The Lagos panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of the disbanded Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Tuesday held its first sitting. Two youths,…

The Lagos panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of the disbanded Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Tuesday held its first sitting.

Two youths, who have been at the forefront of the fight against police brutality, Rinu Oduala and Temitope Majekodunmi were also sworn into the panel as representatives of the youths.

The duo emerged youth representatives following online voting by youths.

This is even as the panel summoned the Commissioner for Police, Hakeem Odumosu to appear within seven days in respect of the case of one Mr. Ndukwe Ekekwe who appeared before the panel on a wheelchair.

The panel of inquiry and restitution which was set up to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violations committed by operatives of the dissolved SARS in Lagos State is to sit from 10am to 4pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for six months at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Remi Oluwode street, Lekki Phase 1.

The panel listed four cases for its first proceeding on Tuesday including case between Okoliagu Abunike Vs Federal SARS; Mr. Ndukwe Ekekwe Vs FSARS; Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje Vs FSARS and case between Mr. Basil Chetal Ejiagwa Vs FSARS.

The panel chairperson, Justice Doris Okuwobi, however, stood down Ekekwe’s petition, saying the petition against one Hamza Haruna of the new disbanded SARS could not go on because of the absence of the Police Commissioner.

“We have sent a summon to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos. The registrar should give us an adjournment within seven days. After seven days, if the CP is not here, we would know the next action to take. Proceedings in this petition is adjourned to November 3, 2020,” she said.

Testimonies

Another victim of police brutality, Mr. Abunike who testified before the panel said that in 2012, he had a bitter experience with the FSAR after his then-boss accused him of embezzling the money and stealing some goods belonging to the company.

Abunike said he was severely tortured so much that he lost two of his teeth, while he lost all he had including his house, landed property and other properties to the case.

“Later the case was taken to the High Court in Lagos and judgement was given in my favour but until now, nothing has been done in respect of the judgement. My life has been miserable since then,” he said.

He appealed to the panel to compel the Police to obey the court ruling or return all my belongings to me.

Two other victims, Olukoya Ogungbeje and Basil Chetal sent in their petitions which were adopted as their testimonies.

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