April 12, 2021

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Osun panel closes public sittings after treating 34 petitions

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The Osun State Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra-Judiciary Killings, has concluded its hearing.

The chairman, Akin Oladimeji, a retired judge, said Friday that all the 34 petitions received by the panel were considered.

Mr Oladimeji said the panel, which is one of those set up by various state governments and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the aftermath of last year’s #EndSARS protest, struck out 11 of the 34 petitions due to incompetence or lack of diligence prosecution.

A post on the Facebook page of the Office of CPS, Osun State, stated that Mr Oladimeji spoke with journalists after Friday’s proceedings.

He said the panel’s report would be ready by the end of April or early May.

The panel chairman added that the petitioners deserving of compensation would be invited by the panel after the submission of the recommendations to the state government for implementation.

He said: “We have concluded all the cases before us. As you know, 34 petitions were filed to us and we are winding up today (Friday) to go and review evidence and submission of counsel before we proceed to make recommendations to the government.

“Out of the 34 petitions, 11 of them were struck out due to incompetence or lack of diligence prosecution.

“The other 23 cases, parties gave evidence in them, and counsel(s) represented the parties too. Their lawyers made final submissions and we have concluded all the cases.

“We will invite the petitioners after we have presented our recommendations to the (state) government who is solely responsible for the payment of the compensations to give them their compensations.

“As we all know, the recommendations must be in line with the financial capacity of the government, and I can assure you that we are going to make our recommendations to the governor before the end of April or early May.

“We shall do everything possible to ensure that whoever has been injured gets remedy, and that no petitioner shall go unjustified.”

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Petitioner weeps over husband’s death

Meanwhile, a petitioner, Kafayat Ibitoye, burst into tears while narrating her ordeal over the alleged killing of her husband, Abdul-Akeem Ibitoye, in 2017.

She said she approached the panel to seek justice for the gruesome killing of her husband by police officers in 2017 at Erin-Osun, Irepodun Local Government Area of Osun State.

According to Mrs Ibitoye, the untimely death of her spouse forced her to withdraw her three kids from a private school for a public school and resort to bread hawking.

The mother of three urged the panel to award N50 million compensation for the killing of her husband whom she said was the breadwinner of her family.

She said, “It is unfortunate that I find myself in this situation. As was established in the court, my husband was killed unjustly. He was murdered by police who out of overzealousness fired gunshots at him and his elder brother where they went to.

“Since his demise, I have been carrying the financial burdens up and down. I had to withdraw my children from private school to public school when I couldn’t afford the tuition fees.”

She also said her deceased husband’s corpse had not been seen since his killing.

But she said with the recent order of the panel for the release of the corpse, it would be complied with that day (Friday).

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