#EndSARS: List of states with judicial panels of inquiry

On October, the National Executive Council (NEC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ordered the setting up of judicial panels of inquiry, across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory Abuja to x-ray and investigate historical allegations of human rights abuses carried out by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

So far, 28 states have set up their judicial panels.

The simplified Term of Reference (ToR) for the panel members is to; receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra judicial killings; evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

The #EndSARS movement dates back to 2017, where Nigerian youths used the hashtag to share their experiences on violence and assault perpetrated by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

However, the movement got revived early October, after a viral video of SARS operatives, were alleged to have killed an unarmed young man.

This prompted Nigerian youths to troop to social media platforms especially Twitter, calling on the Federal Government for police reform with the hashtag, #EndSARS, #Endpolicebrutality, and many more.

The states are as follows;

Katsina – On October 21, Governor Aminu Masari constituted a 11-member judicial commission. Headed by Justice Abbas Abdullahi Bawale of the Katsina High Court and Ibrahim M. Daku as secretary.

Kogi – Governor Yahaya Bello on October 17, inaugurated a 10-member panel of enquiry. Headed by Muizideen Abdullahi

Kwara – Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on October 20 inaugurated a 10-member panel of inquiry. Headed by retired Justice Tunde Garba.

Ekiti – On October 22, Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, inaugurated 12 members of the state’s judicial panel of Inquiry. Headed by retired judge Cornelius Akintayo.

Osun – On October 22, Gboyega Oyetola, governor of Osun State inaugurated the judicial panel of inquiry in the state. It has 12 members and is chaired by Akin Olademeji

Ogun – Governor Dapo Abiodun set up an eight-member judicial panel of investigation to try alleged cases of police brutality against citizens of the state on October 17. This is headed by Justice Solomon Olugbemi (rtd)

Ondo – On October 20, Rotimi Akeredolu constituted a judicial panel of inquiry. The panel is headed by Justice Salisu Adesola Sidiq (Rtd).

Edo – The Edo State government on October 19 set up a 12-member judicial panel of Inquiry into circumstances surrounding the #EndSARS protests in the state. The chairperson is Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe and Joyce Ugbodaga is the secretary to the panel.

Delta – The Delta State government on October 17 constituted an eight-member judicial panel of inquiry. The chairperson of the panel is Justice Celestina Ogisi (retd) and Omamuzo Erebe is secretary.

Bayelsa – Governor Douye Diri on October 22 also set up a five-man panel. He announced Retired Justice Y.B. Ogola as chairperson and Allowed Opokuma as secretary.

Anambra – Governor Willie Obiano on October 16 set up a panel consisting of 11 members. The panel, according to the governor, would also look into the allegations of extrajudicial killings levelled against a former leader of SARS in the state, Chief Superintendent of Police James Nwafor (retired). The panel is headed by retired Justice V. N, Umeh.

Bauchi – Governor Bala Mohammed on October 29 inaugurated a 17-member judicial panel of inquiry to probe cases of human rights abuses by police in the state. The members are Justice Habibu Idris Shall (Rtd. High Court Judge) as chairperson.

Gombe – Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State on October 31 inaugurated an 11-member commission of inquiry and appointed Justice Sa’ad Mohammed (retired) is the chairperson.

Plateau – The state governor, Simon Lalong, set up the panel consisting of eight members on October 18. The panel is chaired by a retired Judge of the Plateau State High Court, Justice Philomena Lot.

Adamawa – Governor Ahmadu Fintiri on October 20 named 11 members of the panel drawn from the judiciary, civil society organisations, security, youth, religious and students groups. Justice Adamu Hobon (Rtd) was named chairperson.

Taraba – Governor Darius Ishaku on October 23 inaugurated a 10-member judicial panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of police brutality and other security agencies. The panel has Justice Christopher Awubra as chairperson.

Nasarawa – On October 20, the Nasarawa State government set up a judicial panel of inquiry to probe the activities of the disbanded SARS. The chairperson of the panel is Justice Badamasi Maina (rtd).

Enugu – On October 17, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, announced the setting up of a judicial panel of inquiry consisting of eight members to investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra-judicial killings. It has retired Justice Kingsley Ude as chairperson and Joy Ezeolo as secretary.

Ebonyi – The governor of the state, David Umahi, on October 22 inaugurated an 8-member judicial panel committee. The panel is chaired by retired chief judge of the state, Justice Alloy Nwankwo.

Benue – Governor, Samuel Ortom, on October 21 inaugurated a nine-member judicial panel of Inquiry for the state. The panel is headed by a retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adam Onum.

Cross River – Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River on October 22 inaugurated a seven-member judicial panel of enquiry and restitution to investigate police brutality on residents of the state. The chairman of the panel of enquiry is retired Justice Michael Edem.

Abia – On October 23, the Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu approved the inauguration of a 10-member judicial panel of inquiry in the state. This panel is headed by Retired Justice S N Imo.

Imo – On October 19, Governor Hope Uzodimma inaugurated a 17-member judicial panel of inquiry. The panel is chaired by Hon. Justice Florence Duruoha-Igwe (Rtd) and Isaac Oguzie as the secretary.

Akwa Ibom – The Akwa Ibom State government on October 20 set up a 8-member judicial panel for the state. The panel has Justice Ifiok Ukana (Retd) as chairperson and Mfon Edemekong of Ministry of Justice as secretary of the panel.

Rivers – On October 20, Nyesom Wike, set up a 9-member judicial commission of inquiry to investigate alleged brutality and human rights abuses by police in the state. Headed by Retired Justice C.I.Uriri and George Nwaeke as the secretary.

Oyo  On November 10, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, inaugurated the state’s Judicial Panel of Inquiry to look into cases of police brutalities by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units against Nigerians. The panel which is made up of 11 members, is led by a retired judge, Bolajoko Adeniji.

Lagos – The Lagos State Government on October 19, inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of police brutality in the state. This Judicial Panel is led by Justice Doris Okuwobi, a retired Judge of Lagos State.

FCT – The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on October 21, inaugurated an 11-member Independent Investigative Panel (IIP) to probe allegations of human rights violations against the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The chairman of the panel is retired Justice Suleiman Galadima.

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