Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, yesterday inaugurated the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality to look into cases of assault, illegal arrest, killings, brutality and other forms of rights abuse by the officers and men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police as well as the death of two persons at two different locations last Saturday.
Similarly, he appealed to the youths, who he noted were the genuine protesters, to give the government a chance to work on their demands by suspending their street protests.
The governor noted that the suspension would aid the security operatives to rid the state of miscreants, who have hijacked the protest for other pecuniary gains.
This was even as the governor tasked the panel on fairness, equity and justice.
The setting up of the panel is in keeping with Section 2:1 of the Commission of Inquiry Law Cap 29, Laws of Osun State 2002, and in line with the directive of the federal government to all the 36 state governors and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The 12-man newly-inaugurated panel is chaired by a retired Judge of the High Court, Hon. Justice Akinola Oladimeji. Members of the panel are Prof. Wasiu Oyedokun representing the Civil Society Organisation; Chairman of Osun State chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ismail Abdul-Aziz, and Prof. Grace Akinola representing the academia.
Others are Biodun Layonu (SAN); retired DIG of Police, Mr. Jide Akano; Social Activist, Jumoke Ogunkeyede; President, National Association of Osun State Students (NAOS), Teslim Salaudeen; Oluwasegun Idowu representing the Civil Society Organisation; Chairman, NBA Osogbo branch, Abdulrahman Okunade; Mrs. Kemi Bello representing the Ministry of Justice, Osun State (secretary to the panel).
Inaugurating the panel at the Government House in Osogbo, Oyetola said the decision was to further validate one key attribute in “keeping faith with promises made” to which his administration has been known for since it came on board about two years ago.
The governor, who described security and welfare of the citizens as the fundamental objectives of his administration, expressed confidence in the ability of the panel to unravel all alleged matters and provide justice for all.
The panel is also empowered to investigate the violent attack carried out against the governor and his entourage at Olaiya roundabout on October 17, 2020, and make appropriate recommendations.
According to the governor, the panel is expected to round off its assignment within six months.