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Godwin Obaseki

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#EndSARS: Edo Govt Sets Up Judicial Panel of Inquiry, Imposes 24hr State-Wide Curfew

… NBA commends Govt.’s effort.

By Lucky Isibor

Edo State Government on Monday set up a 12-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry into circumstances surrounding the #EndSARS protests in the state.

Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., in a statement, disclosed that the Panel has been given 90 days to complete the assignment.

According to him, the Panel was set up “In response to the yearnings of Nigerian youths, as articulated in the demands of the #Endsars protesters.”

The Panel is chaired by Hon. Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe, while Mrs. Joyce Ugbodaga will serve as Secretary.

Other members of the Committee include Bishop Feb Idahosa, (Clergy); Francis Osayi, (ASUU); Comrade Osahon Obasuyi (NYC); Prest Aigbokhian (Civil Society); Mrs Uloaku Uzamere (NCWS); Comrade Pius Efofan (NANS); Pius Okpere (#EndSARS Movement); Comrade Kola Edokpayi (#EndSARS Movement); Mrs Felicia Monyei (Ministry of Justice) and a Representative of security forces.

Ogie said the terms of reference of the Panel are “to receive complaints and petitions from the general public, particularly victims or relatives of victims of police brutality and extra-judicial killings, and to recommend measures, including compensation and restitution, investigation and prosecution, as the circumstances warrant.

“To advise on compensation or restitution to the victims, or- where the victim has been killed- to the family of the victim, based on condition which shall be clearly laid out by the Committee.

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“To ensure that compensation is paid within 14 days of the decision to compensate.”

The Panel will also recommend and direct the Attorney General to immediately prosecute all persons responsible for the various crimes committed; recommend measures to forestall reoccurrences in the future and make any other recommendations to government in furtherance of the mandate of this Committee.

The statement further read: “The Panel has been given 90 days to complete this assignment. All hearings will be open to the general public. All interested persons are advised to send their complaints, petitions and suggestions to the Committee.

“The Edo State government fully ascribes to the ideals of the #EndSARS movement, which is driven by the desire for a new Nigeria, within which no man or woman is oppressed, and within which all can realise their true potentials.

“The reform and repositioning of the Nigerian Police Force is an integral part of this move, and therefore we call upon the Federal Government to speedily intervene and take immediate and concrete measures to strengthen the Nigerian Police Force, and ensure that all officers and men conduct themselves in a humane and efficient manner, in alignment with international best practices.”

In a related development, the Edo State Government has imposed a 24 hour curfew in the state. In a release signed by the secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie said the curfew takes effect from 4 pm, Monday.

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Mean while, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Benin Branch has commended the Edo State Government for taking steps to restore order in Benin just as it sets up a 7 Man Committee to monitor observance of Human Rights during the 24 Hours Curfew.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Benin Branch, Pius Oiwoh commended the Edo State Government for taking steps in restoring Order in Benin, following the violent Protests in recent times

In a statement by the publicity secretary of the Benin NBA, Ogaga Emongwanre said, “the Lion Bar deprecated the actions of some Protesters who took the Laws into their hands engaging in prison break,arson ,attack on innocent citizens  and malicious damage to public Property”.

The NBA Curfew Monitoring Committee comprise Mathew Edaghese -Chairman, while Ivie Elema will serve as Secretary. Other members of the committee are Douglas Ogbankwa, Dennis Osaretin, Chris Otasowie, Ogaga Emongwanre and Stella Agoha.

The NBA Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary -Pius Oiwoh, Paula Agbale and Andrew Lawani respectively shall serve as Consultants to the Committee, the statement said.

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