For the clarification of the general public and in view of the inauguration of The Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution into SARS Abuses happening tomorrow, I want to put out the terms of reference of the panel.
The ToR are essentially the following;
To listen to & take evidence from all victims or the families of victims of SARS abuse within Lagos State (somewhat akin to what the Truth and Reconciliation Committee did in some countries). This would enable all victims & their families air and vent their grievances in public.
The Judicial Panel after listening to victims or their families would then determine whether any victim or the dependents of such victims are entitled to compensation and the amount of compensation payable.
Upon determining the compensation payable, the Judicial Panel is to immediately issue a check in favour of the victim or their dependents.
The Judicial Panel is also to determine the officers (or anyone for that matter) responsible for abusing any victim and to recommend the prosecution of such persons.
The Panel shall also have powers to make recommendations to Government on how to ensure that the Police and all security agencies never abuse the rights of citizens again.
The Panel has the powers to compel and summon witnesses to appear before it. The State Government expects the Panel to use these powers to ensure that all necessary parties appear before the Panel to testify.
We identify wholeheartedly with the calls for reforms of the Police. A better run and administered Police force would undoubtedly be to the advantage of the Government and all residents of the state. Our stance is Zero tolerance for Police Brutality.
The setting up of the Judicial Panel is a very important step in the journey to reforming the Police. We urge all citizens of Lagos to partner with us in this journey. We appreciate and recognize the efforts of the youths which has made this necessary change inevitable.