The #EndSARS panel investigating cases of police brutality in Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out three cases where the petitioners had shown little or no commitment.
One of the cases involves an alleged unlawful detention and death in police custody of Tuesday Okuah.
Another is an alleged case of extra-judicial killing of John Chukwuemeka Okoro, while the other is about alleged unlawful detention, death in police custody and extortion of Samuel Adagbor.
The cases came up for the first time before the panel, but the petitioners were all absent.
The panel’s chairperson , Suleiman Galadima, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, said “the panel does not have time to drag the hearing of cases anymore”.
He added that the cases would be forwarded to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which set it up, for appropriate actions.
Explaining further, the commission’s secretary, Hilary Ogbonna, said “the commission is happy to continue the probing of these cases after the panel has been disbanded”.
The Independent Investigative Panel was set up by the NHRC in the aftermath of the October 2020 #EndSARS brutality against human rights violations perpetrated by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.
At least 28 state governments also set up the panel based on the recommendation of the National Executive Council (NEC), an advisory body headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and has the 36 state governors along with some other top federal government functionaries as members.
Most of the state panels, including that of Lagos State which its leaked report indicted the Nigerian army and the state government for the shooting and killing of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate on October 2020, have since submitted their reports.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said on Tuesday that about N420 million has been paid to victims of police brutality based on the recommendations of the state’s panel.
Virtually all other state governments are lagging behind in the implementation of the reports of their #EndSARS panels.
The Abuja #EndSARS panel is about the only one yet to conclude sitting, having only resumed from a six-month break it was forced to take due to lack of funding.
Originally given six months to submit its report, the panel has now got an extension to conclude its work, even though it continues to grapple with lack of cooperation of some accused police officers and non-appearance of some petitioners meant to testify, forcing it to adjourn some cases on different occasions.
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