By Peter Okutu
The Protesters behind the End Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS in Ebonyi State, Monday blocked the old Government House, Abakaliki, for over six hours as they protested against Police brutality and extortion in the State.
Following the blockage of the road leading to the old Government House, Abakaliki, by the protesters, motorists were forced to take other adjourning roads to their destinations.
Presenting their demands through their leader, Barr. Steven Ugama, the protesters called on Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State to set up Judicial Panel of Inquiry to look into the illegal activities of SARS, compensate victims of Police brutality, release all those illegally detained in Police net, investigate the activities of Local Government tax collectors and that of Policemen operating at Eke-aba Police Station.
Responding, Governor David Umahi who described their action as constitutional assured them that nobody was going to molest them because of the protests.
He further assured them that all their demands would be met accordingly even as emphasized that he would set up a Trust Funds for victims of police brutality in the State.
According to the Governor, what I take up with the Commissioner of Police is to dismantle all roadblocks in Ebonyi State.
“I want to assure you that nobody is going to molest you. You are fighting for your right and future. What you are doing is constitutional. You know am also a youth. For the issue you have raised concerning Eke-aba police station, we are going to address it. The Future belongs to you. We will set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry. There will be one youth representative. One student will participate and representative of human rights
“The Panel will receive and investigate evidence brought before it. There will be a Trust Fund set up under me. Victims of Police brutality shall be compensated. Special security and human rights Committee to handle issues bordering on security challenges.
“The Special Security and Human Rights Committee will be set up in order to ensure that the activities of any special or tactical unit which may be established by the Nigeria Police is well monitored and any excesses in their operations promptly apprehended.
“Resist any policeman that wants to collect money from you. Resist it.”