#EndSARS: Ebonyi Judicial Panel Receives 5 Petitions on Police Brutality

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The Ebonyi Judicial Panel of Inquiry into cases of police brutality, human rights violations or related extra-judicial killings, says it has so far received five petitions from the public.
Retired Justice Alloy Nwankwo, the Chairman of the panel, made the disclosure on Monday during the panel’s inaugural sitting in Abakaliki.
Nwankwo, who is the immediate past Chief Judge of the state, said the petitions were mainly against the Nigerian police, especially the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
“We will commence hearing into the cases immediately and are presently serving all parties involved to avoid infringing on peoples’ rights. Our sitting days will be announced in due course and we seek the cooperation of everybody to effectively and efficiently discharge this assignment”.
Nwankwo said the panel had a friendly atmosphere that would allow the public to present their cases uninhibited.
“The panel will give the public an unfettered right to speak about their experiences in the hands of security agencies to enable us to make our findings and recommendations appropriately. Nigerian citizens enjoy many rights but the inalienable, fundamental rights of citizens are statute-protected by the 1999 Constitution (as amended)”, the panel’s chairman said.
He pledged that in determining the cases presented before it, the panel would ensure restitution to those whose rights were violated by security agents in the state.
“The panel held several meetings to discuss the modus operandi in hearing petitions and complaints before it and resolved to observe all rules of natural justice. It also resolved to accord all parties equal opportunities of hearing”.
The eight-member panel was inaugurated by Governor David Umahi on October 20, in line with the Federal Government’s directive to meet the demands by the EndSARS protesters.

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