By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, Nov. 15, 2021 (NAN) Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has set up a four-member committee for White Paper on the reports submitted by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters.
Sanwo-Olu constituted the committee after receiving the two reports of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters presented to him at the Lagos House, Ikeja, by Chairman of the panel, Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi.
The four-member committee is led by Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN).
Other members of the committee are; Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu, Special Adviser, Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye and Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Mrs Tolani Oshodi.
He said that the committee would bring forward a white paper within the next two weeks to be considered by the Lagos State Executive Council.
According to him, the reports and recommendations will be made public and submitted to the National Economic Council for discussion.
The two reports submitted by the Panel to Lagos State Government are on investigation on petitions on several abuses and killings by the Nigerian Police, especially the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the Oct. 20, 2020 Lekki Toll Gate shootings during the #EndSARS protests hijacked by hoodlums.
He reassured Nigerians, especially residents of Lagos that the government’s action would be guided by the law and in the public interest.
Sanwo-Olu said that he was hopeful the Lagos State Government’s decision on the reports would bring complete healing, reconciliation and restitution.
”The four of them will immediately look through and bring forward a white paper within the next two weeks that will be considered at the Lagos State Executive Council and would be gazetted as a white paper coming from the Panel of Inquiry.
”We will ensure that the recommendations that are coming out will be turned into a white paper and made available to the public.
”We will do it appropriately so that history will judge us well and we will have a document that will stand the test of time.
”That is what the tribunal law says, so that it will be properly documented and gazetted in government’s records,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu who pointed out that the panel had operated independently, commended members of the Justice Okuwobi-led panel for a job well done.
He also expressed appreciation to residents for their cooperation during the exercise, which lasted for almost a year.
Speaking earlier, Justice Okuwobi, expressed deep appreciation to the Lagos State Government and all stakeholders who appeared before the panel.
She also thanked members of the panel for their uncommon resolve to bring closure to the assignment and their good team work.
Okuwobi said that part of the recommendations of the panel was the establishment of a body to take over human rights abuses in Lagos.
She disclosed that the panel awarded a total of N410 million to 70 victims of Police brutality, and 235 petitions were received, with only 14 of it being on the alleged Lekki shooting incident.
”As much as the panel desired to have taken all petitions, the ones that were not taken by the panel were those that did not comply to our rules, so in this report, we made recommendations for a body to take over human rights abuse cases in Lagos State,” Okuwobi said.
It would be recalled that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Oct. 19, 2020 inaugurated the Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate alleged 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 shootings that took place on Oct. 20, 2020, at the Lekki Tollgate. (NAN)