Human RightsNews

42 Days After Inauguration, Oyo EndSARS Panel Yet To Hold Sitting

On Saturday, October 10, Jimoh Isiaq, a 23-year-old resident of Ogbomosho, Oyo State was watching the protest against police brutality by students of the Ladoke Akintola University and youths of the town when security personnel started shooting live bullets in the air. It was in the wake of the protest against the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

He was hit by a stray bullet and died moments later.

The uproar and controversies that trailed his killing led to the death of at least two other residents, Ganiyu Moshood Alabi and Adeoye Taiwo, as confirmed Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State.

In a bid to ensure Jimoh Isiaq, and every other victim of police brutality tet justice, the governor on November 10, inaugurated an 11-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate allegations of extrajudicial killings and brutality by against officers of Nigeria Police by the citizens.

The inauguration of the panel followed a directive on October 16 by the Federal Government that mandated all state governors to set up judicial panels of inquiry to entertain petitions on police brutality, extortion and other related issues by members of the public.

The panel, the government said must recommend actions against proven cases of police brutality and human rights violation.

Endless Wait For Panel To Commence Sitting

Forty-two days after the inauguration of the panel in the state, it has never held a sitting or communicated to the public.

While speaking at the inauguration of the panel, Governor Makinde revealed that the state government had through various platforms set up to collate cases of rights infringements received close to 50 complaints of alleged police brutality and human rights violations.

One of these platforms is a page on the official website of the state government. The page, as of Monday, December 20, morning, had been deleted.

Speaking on the role of the panel during the inauguration, the governor stated that aside investigating the brutal murder of Jimoh Isiaq and others killed in Ogbomosho, the panel would bring to book residents responsible for gruesome murder and roasting of police officers at Iwo road, Ibadan during in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest.

But while the victims of police brutality continue to wait for the panel to commence hearing their petitions, Nigerians are already expressing frustration about the inability of the panel to sit and lack of communication from the state government.

Adetola Kehinde, an Oyo State indigene took to social media to question the delay in the commencement of sitting by the panel.

“Nobody is talking about seeking for justice for the victims of #PoliceBrutality in Oyo State. The judicial panel of inquiry set up by Seyi Makinde hasn’t sat for one since it’s inauguration. Or the #EndSARS protest is meant for selected states?” Kehinde wrote on Twitter.

Another social media user, Bolu Adeosun also questioned why residents are not demanding justice by ensuring the panel gets to work.

“I honestly have a question. When will @seyiamakinde ask the panel in his state to start? Why are we not demanding for justice also? Or Does Jimoh Isaq not deserve Justice?” she wrote.

Several attempts to reach the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa for details about the failure of the panel to commence public hearing 42 days after the inauguration were not successful as he did not pick multiple calls to his mobile phone and failed to reply WhatsApp and text messages.

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