Weekly Updates on the #EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry – No. 1

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Date: Nov 07 2020
Category: EndSARs, Publications, Reports
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Tags: #EndSARs, EndSARs, Judicial Panel, Lekki Massacre, Panel of Inquiry, Petition, Police Brutality, Report
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31st October – 7th November 2020

In line with the demands of the youth to set up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct, Judicial Panels of Inquiry have been set up in 29 states. The panels are expected to ensure justice for victims of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units. Our findings reveal that 28 states have so far inaugurated panels of inquiry. Data from 27 states indicated that only 21% (53) of the 252-panel members are women. While youth representation is at 18.2% (46-panel members).

The Judicial Panels of Inquiry have begun sittings and collection of petitions/memoranda in at least 16 States. These states include – Akwa Ibom State, Anambra State, Bauchi State, Benue State, Ebonyi State, Edo State, Enugu State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kwara State, Lagos State, Niger State, Ondo State, Ogun State, Osun State and Plateau State, Taraba State with many inaugural sittings in the last week. Reports from the Yiaga Africa citizens observer deployed to the Lagos State Judicial panel of Inquiry reveals that: the panel sat for a total of 6 days and a total of 10 reports/presentations were submitted (5 oral and 5 written), mostly against the defunct SARS unit. Out of the 10 petitioners, 4 young persons and women, respectively. Also presented before the Panel, was the report of the current threats and attacks to members of the #EndSARS movement by security officers.

Reports from the observation from Ogun state reveal that the sitting on November 5, 2020, received a total of 11 reports/presentations (8 oral and 3 written). Of the 11 petitioners; 6 were young people and 1 was a woman. For both Lagos and Ogun states; 60% of the petitioners were victims of police brutality while 20% were family members of victims and the other 20% were government representatives. In addition, the evidences tendered include; picture and footage of a supposed SARS official beating the victim, photos of a man brutally beaten by cops of the SARS operations, damaged phone, loan card, and photos of a damaged car by gun bullets.

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