Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will set up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate SARS abuses today October 19.
In an open letter to residents of the state, the governor listed the objectives of the panel to include hearing the accounts of victims of police brutality and also to determine the level of compensation to be given to them. He vowed to ensure that erring officers are prosecuted for the crimes committed.
Read below, the letter of the Lagos state governor.
For the clarification of the general public and in view of the inauguration of The Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution into SARS Abuses happening tomorrow(today October 19), I want to put out the terms of reference of the panel.
To listen to and take evidence from all victims or families of victims of SARS abuse within Lagos State. And also give them an opportunity to air and vent their grievances in public
The Judicial Panel after listening to victims or their families would then verify and determine if they are entitled to compensation and in what amount it would be.
Upon determining the compensation payable, the Judicial Panel is to immediately issue a cheque in favour of the victim or their dependents.
The Judicial Panel is also to determine and identify the officers (or anyone for that matter) responsible for abusing any victim and recommend the prosecution of such persons.
The Panel shall also have powers to make recommendations to Government on how to ensure that the rights of citizens are never abused nor trampled upon again.
The Panel has the powers to compel and summon witnesses to appear before it. The State Government expects the Panel to use these powers to ensure that all necessary parties appear to testify.
The Lagos State Government unquestionably identifies with the calls for reforms of the Police. A better run and administered Police force would undoubtedly be to the advantage of the State Government and all residents of the state. Our stance is Zero tolerance for Police Brutality.
The setting up of the Judicial Panel is a very important step in the journey to reforming the Police. We urge all citizens of our dear State to partner with us in this journey. We appreciate and recognize the efforts of the youths which has made this necessary change inevitable.
Together, we will #EndPoliceBrutality and Reform the police #ForAGreaterLagos”