BREAKING NEWS

Osun Judicial Panel on police brutality start probing sitting(See full process)

...Urges Parties, Witnesses To Maintain code of conduct 



The panel of inquiry investigating police brutality in Osun State has commended sitting fourteen days after its inaguration by the state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola.


The thirteen member panel sat on Thursday at the Finance building situated within Osun State Government Secretariat, Abeere, Osogbo.


In his inaugural address, the Chairman of the panel, Hon Justice Akinwale David Oladimeji urged parties and their witnesses to be truthful and honest, as righteousness exalts not only the individual but the nation.



He spelt out some rules that would be guiding the processes and conducts of parties, Journalists and other individuals who are in one way or the other involved in the inquiry.


Here is the full address of the chairman made available to VAM News, unedited;



INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF HONOURABLE JUSTICE AKINWALEDAVID OLADIMEJI (CHAIRMAN) PANEL OF INQUIRY INVESTIGATING POLICE BRUTALITY IN OSUN STATE DELIVERED ON THURSDAY, 12TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2020, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Panel, learned Gentlemen of the Bar, Gentlemen of the Press, Security Operatives present, Ladies and Gentlemen.


I wish to welcome you all to the inaugural sitting of the panel of inquiry investigating

Police Brutality in Osun State. This panel is constituted by thirteen members, they

are (1) Akin Oladimeji Retired High Court Judge (Chairman) (2) Prof. Wasiu

Oyedokun, Civil Society Organization (3) Comrade Ismail Abduil Azeez, Chairman

national Youth Council of Nigeria, Osun (4) Prof. Grace Akinola, from the Academia

(5) Biodun Layoun (SAN) (6) Abayoni Ogundele Esq, Osun Coordinator, National

Human Rights Commission (7) Mr. Jide Akano RTD DIG of Police (8) Mr. Jumoke

Ogunkeyede, Social Activist (9) Teslim Salaudeen, Student, NAOSS President (10)

Comrade Oluwasegun Idowu, Civil Society Organization (11) Abdulrahman

Okunade ,NBA Chairman, Osogbo Branch(12) Comrade Ayo Ologun, Civil Society

(13) Mrs. Kemi Bello, Representing Ministry of Justice, Osun – Secretary to the Panel.

The main mandate of the Panel is to investigate the brutality of the defunct Special

Anti-Robbery Squad, commonly referred to by its acronym and hereinafter referred

to as SARS, which is a department of Nigeria Police Force, against some members of

the public in Osun State of Nigeria.

You will all recollect that, like all other States of Nigeria where various Panels of

Inquiry were set up by set up by the government of each state,

each state, this panel of Inquiry too was inaugurated by His Excellency, the Governor of Osun State. Mr.Adegboyega Oyetola on Thursday, the 22nd day of October, 2020 when some members who were present at the inauguration were sworn in. Other members who were not present at the occasion have been sworn in by the Chairman of the Panel

by a delegated power from the Executive Governor.

Chairman and members of the panel during inauguration

Chairman and members of the panel during inauguration

Ladies and Gentlemen and the Press, this Panel is not a regular Court of law where

law is strictly applied to cases but rather, a fact finding Panel. Therefore, it is the

duty of every petitioner and in fact all parties who present petitions and defence

before this panel to bring all facts and evidence in support of their cases before the

panel. We are neither prophets nor seers that can see what the ordinary eyes cannot

perceive. Every petitioner who has suffered injury or loss wants damages or compensation to be paid to him, this panel is empowered to make recommendation

on award of such damages or compensation but we can not do so unless you come

and demonstrate to us how and where you sustained injury or loss.

It is the fact and evidence that you place before us that we must use to assess the

injury victims have suffered in the hands of SARS in each of the cases, and the

damages claimed by the Petitioners or any other parties as the case may be.

These are the things that will assist us in our duties, so that we will not therefore

appear to be awarding arbitrarily low or high damages or compensation in the eye

of the reasonable man.

In presenting your cases before this panel, we urge the parties and their witnesses

to be truthful and honest, as righteousness exalts not only the individual but also the

nation and the world at large. Righteousness exhalts the individual, the nation and

world at large not the Religions, culture or traditions.

Northerners join ENDSARS

Protesters

Please be truthful as much as

your memory can carry you. Sometimes individual or group might have suffered

defilement like rape in the hands of SARS, I know that in this part of the world,

women find if difficult to come out or speak out on such evils and the reason for

keeping quiet by them is not far fetched, they include tradition, culture, Religion

and lack of emancipation. Women must come out of their shelves and play down

those things that can not assist them to attain good status in life. When you do not

come out to speak against evil you encourage the evil doers to do more of his evils.

We are your fathers, mothers, brothers’ sisters and children and friends; do not be

afraid to come and tell us your stories. If you do not want to be heard in the public

we shall make arrangement to hear you without the public. Remove the impression,

if you have, that this panel is a set up and a disguise by the government which is a

common notion in Nigeria. My humble self is not a politician I have never been in

politics. I am a priest, I always love to do justice. You can repose good conference

with us. Mr. Governor in his address the inauguration of this panel described me as

“a man whose penchant for justice for the common man and for all is enrmonsic”

I sincerely thank Mr. Governor for the encomium. That is exactly what I am.

We are here to protect the interest of every party who has suffered injury in the

hands of SARS including the dead on whose behalf petitions were filed by their

Legal or personal representatives.

We are prepared to visit locus in cuo, i.e. places of incidents including mortuaries,

graves and graveyards or suspected ones, if need be.

We seek the cooperation of lawyers who will be appearing before us to present,

prosecute and defend cases on behalf of their clients to do so with all diligence and

dispatch. We are very much aware that you are very busy or seem busy, kindly take

into consideration the very limited time this Panel has to wind up which is Six

months from the date of inauguration of this Panel, part of which has been taken off

by fourteen days due to late submission of petitions.

We shall therefore not entertain

unwarranted and frivolous applications for adjournments from any party or their

counsel. It is a guiding rule of procedure of

this Panel that, unless there are

compelling reasons and circumstances, this panel will not entertain more than two

adjournments, each of which shall not extend beyond fourteen days on each

adjournment.

We want to plead with members of the regular press, that, it is only what you hear

and see that you should please report. We want to especially plead with the

members of the unregulated media, that is the users of social media to please be

conscious of their responsibilities and duties to the individuals here, the public, the

nation and the world at larges.

We do not want to pick anyone for contempt. I plead with the press, both regular and unregulated not to further fuel embers of disunity of disaffection between the public and the police. Always remember that we shall

always have the police with us, no matter how bad and sad the situation. We cannot

adequately protect ourselves as we are not professionally trained to do so. It is the

policemen that are so trained.

I must not also fail to inform you all that the panel will not entertain any case in which

the dispute is still pending before a Court of competent jurisdiction. If you have or

intend to file such, you will have to file a notice of discontinuance in that court where

the case is pending and evidence of discontinuance must be filed before the Panel.

Members of the panel are men and women of very high integrity. We have taken

oath before God and man to do justice to all and so, we assure you that no one will

come before us and go away without getting justice. We are representatives of God

in this assignment and in fact in all cases. May God help us in discharging our

duties. Amen.


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