By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has inaugurated a 7-member Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses in the State.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Thursday while briefing State House Correspondents in Lagos House, Marina.
He said the demands of the #EndSARS protesters were now being met by the government, saying that earlier he attended a National Economic Council Sub-Committee Meeting at which the major topic was the ongoing protests and the necessary steps to take to assuage the angry protesters.
The seven-man panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, other members are Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society); Taiwo Lakanu, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ms Patience Udoh, representing the Civil Society; Mr. Segun Awosanya, Human Rights Activist, Mrs. Olutoyin, Odusanya, Director, Citizens Mediation Center, as well as a representative of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission. The panel has six months in the first instance for the job.
He said, “In line with the five-point demand, we unanimously decided, as a council, to inaugurate a 7-member Panel of Enquiry on the protesters’ demands.
“A Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses in Lagos State is now being constituted. This seven-man panel will ensure that all those with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality receive compensation.”
Sanwo-Olu added that the government would also be setting up a help desk for the complaints, and petitions to the panel.
He said as, from next week, the public could reach the help desk on the following numbers: 0901 051 3203; 3204 and 3205.
Sanwo-Olu assured the youths that, “we feel your pain and share your clamour for far-reaching police reforms, for a Police that serves and protects the people of Lagos and Nigeria, not one that intimidates and oppresses you. Nigeria’s development aspirations will not be achieved without a responsive and ethical Police.”
He assured the protesters that the state government has met three out of their five demands and that the remaining two which requires process would be taken care of.
He said all those arrested have been released and “If you know of anyone still in police custody, please bring the same to my notice.
“I am also pleased to confirm that all the other demands have been addressed by the President who has given the IG of Police the go-ahead to implement all the demands.”
Sanwo-Olu also disclosed that the state has started witnessing a sharp rise in the number of covid-19 cases in the state
According to him, “It is a wake-up call to jolt us out of complacency. In the last six months we have made tremendous progress in the fight against COVID-19; do not let us, through carelessness or nonchalance, reverse this progress.”
He advised everybody to take responsibility to avoid a second wave of Covid-19 as is being experienced already in some countries.