Contrary to insinuations that the independent investigation panel on allegations of human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (EndSARS) has fizzled out, the panel rather gathered more momentum preparatory to resumption of sitting on Monday, 18th October, 2021, more determined to do justice to the 295 petitions it received.
The 11-member panel chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd) listened to final written and oral addresses in eight petitions, which signaled the conclusion of the cases and adjournment for the panel’s report on them.
According to a press statement issued by the Director Public Affairs, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, “although the panel did not sit for about six months following some logistics challenges, it had within the first four months when it commenced sitting concluded 55 complaints while 75 are in progress at different stages.
“It sat last in March this year and had hoped to continue sitting after it declared two weeks Easter break but that did not happen, up until the set date on Monday, due to aforesaid reason.”
Mohammed, who has painstakingly followed the proceedings of the panel, confirmed that “of the 55 concluded cases, 22 were either struck out by the panel or withdrawn by the petitioners.”
Besides, she disclosed that 33 petitions were ready for the payment of compensations, including other legal and administrative remedies in accordance with the relevant laws.
She said, so far, the panel has brought hope to families, survivors and victims of human rights violations by the police; given the fact that justice has already been served in a number of cases, thus rekindling people’s hope that the government indeed has not abandoned their Constitutional responsibility of ensuring a safe and secure environment that will enable the protection and enforcement of human rights by the NHRC and other relevant agencies of government.