Over 110 petitions before Lagos Judicial Panel

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The judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate cases of police brutality said it has received over 110 petitions.

Dorris Okuwobi, a retired judge heading the panel, said this while adjourning the case of Ndukwe Ekekwe, a 34-year-old man allegedly pushed from a two-storey building by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police.

Mr Ekekwe, who has been on a wheelchair after the incident, has had his case adjourned by the panel for the third time.

The victim came to the panel with his mother and brother and were unhappy over the third adjournment.

Giving reasons for the adjournment, Mrs Okuwobi said the police counsel was unable to attend the sitting on grounds of ill health.

“We have been informed that the counsel to the respondent is unavailable because of ill health, but he will here before Friday.”

However, Mrs Okuwobi said if the counsel is absent on Friday, the panel would have no choice than to proceed to make a decision and close the case.

Similarly, the case of a 60-year-old allegedly brutalised by the police was also adjourned till Friday.

The retired judge urged all parties to be present for their case to enable the panel proceed swiftly.

The eight-member panel commenced sitting on October 27. It is to sit for six months to investigate claims of police brutality, bring erring officers to justice and recommend compensations for victims.

The panel is led by Mrs Okuwobi, a retired judge, and comprises members from civil society groups, Human Rights Commission, Citizens Mediation Centre and two representatives from the youth.

The panel was set up by the state government on the heels of the #EndSARS protest against police brutality, extra judicial killings, harassment and extortion.

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