The Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating cases of police brutality and human rights violations in Kwara State, in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests could not go ahead with the hearing of the additional petitions submitted due to the absence of petitioners and witnesses.
Although the Justice I. B. Garba-led panel earlier disclosed that it received 18 petitions from members of the public, three new ones have been submitted, making it 21.
This was announced at the sitting of the panel on Monday.
However, the panel, which commenced sitting around 10:00 a.m., could not work because petitioners or their counsel were not available.
On the existing petitions, the counsel to the police, Adekunle Iwalaye, requested for an adjournment.
He said some of the operatives accused of infractions are not in the state while some others are expected to appear before a similar panel in Abuja, the federal capital territory.
“We are requesting for an adjournment because we found out that some of the people involved are expected to appear before a similar panel in Abuja,” he said.
Justice Garba adjourned the sitting to November 25, 2020.
He also advised petitioners who do not have a legal representative to approach the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the state for help. He said its chairman “has promised to render pro bono legal services for the petitioners”.
The sittings are part of the government’s response to the demands of #EndSARS protesters, who took to the streets for several days, demanding disbandment of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) notorious for use of excessive force and harassment.
The protesters also demanded justice for victims of police brutality and prosecution of killer-cops.
The nationwide protests were staged across major cities in the country in October.
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