As lawyers demand setting up of judicial panel for Policemen
Perez Brisibe – Ughelli
Uncertainty is trailing the next Monday sitting of the Delta State judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Delta State government to investigate alleged police brutality in the state following the reported freezing of bank accounts of some persons who participated in the #EndSARS protest.
A member of the panel, Harrison Gwamnishu had earlier raised the alarm of what he described as a clampdown on persons who participated in the protest and accused the government of allegedly pretending to dialogue with the aggrieved protesters.
He said: “The Government should not pretend to dialogue with us, yet secretly demoralizing and freezing accounts of youths that participated in a lawful peaceful protest.”
READ ALSO: You can’t kill #ENDSARS protesters with terror, PANDEF, Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt tell Buhari
Though Harrison declined to comment further on the matter when contacted, one of his friends disclosed that he (Harrison) and another member of the panel will be boycotting the sitting at the panel over what they described as the government’s move to arrest and #End SARS protesters.
Also speaking on the actions of the government, a member of the panel, Godwin Oyovweadjebre who also doubles as President of the Delta State students association, said they are awaiting the outcome of a youth meeting they had with the Minister for Youths and Sports, Solomon Dare at Asaba where they expressed their grievance over the freezing of the bank accounts of some #EndSARS protesters.
He said: “Though I’m not speaking in my capacity as a member of the panel when we met with the Minister, we brought to his attention the account freezing of some EndSARS protesters and that he should look into it, and he promised to call the attention of the President to the matter.
“Currently, I’m still a member of the panel and I have not withdrawn my membership, but while we are working, we the youths are hopeful that the minister will do what he said he will do during the Asaba meeting. I can’t tell what the future holds for now until the next sitting pending if other things come up.”
Meanwhile, a Warri based human rights activists, Oghenejabor Ikimi, has harped on the need for state governor’s to establish similar panels of enquires to allow policemen speak on their challenges in the discharge of their duties.
Ikimi while speaking with Vanguard yesterday, said: “The various State governments should also inaugurate truth commissions which should sit alongside these panels of inquiries.
“These police panels will address the challenges of police personnel who might have been killed in the line of duty and receive petitions from family members of these slain policemen.
“Upon the conclusion of the sitting of these police commissions, the government will also compensate them as required and not just a one-sided panel of inquiry.”