- As Judicial panel calls for petitions
By Egena Sunday Ode and Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Ministers from the south west states of the country have joined their voices to the call for a thorough probe of the Lekki Toll Gate shootings of October 20 in Lagos in which some EndSARS protesters were allegedly killed.
In particular, the ministers are asking for an investigation of the role of the military in the alleged carnage.
They have also asked the Federal Government to lend a helping hand to Lagos State Government to enable her restore damaged facilities, especially those that have to do with the administration of justice as well as maintenance of law and order.
These were among the recommendations they presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday at the State House, Abuja.
Ministers from the south west states in the present federal cabinet include Otunba Niyi Adebayo, representing Ekiti; Rauf Aregbesola, representing Osun; Sunday Dare, representing Oyo; Olamilekan Adegbite, representing Ogun; Olorunimbe Memora, representing Lagos and Tayo Aladura, representing Ondo.
Peoples Daily recalls that the National Economic Council (NEC) had directed the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to establish judicial panel of inquiries in their various jurisdictions to investigate complaints of police brutality including the carnage that attended the #EndSARS protests.
Briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly council meeting, Minister of Works and Housing, Bantunde Fasola, said their recommendations were the fallouts of visits and consultations with their state governors as directed by President Buhari following the #EndSARS saga.
He said: “The highlight of the brief was to make recommendations to the federal government to support Lagos State to restore damaged facilities especially those related to the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice such as police, court buildings and forensic laboratory. To also consider supporting the Lagos High Court Judges either with the provision of some office accommodation as a temporary relocation when that requested is made, of course it was hinted during the visit.
“To also urged federal government to consider short to medium term support to small and medium businesses who were affected by the looting and arson which took place in Lagos and other parts of the country, to see if something can be done through the Central Bank Intervention Mechanism under the COVID-19 funding or any other related funding mechanism. And to also ensure that whatever is approved should also involve the National Economic Council, the platform on which state governors meet, so that other states across the country who were also affected, businesses that were damaged can benefit in addition to Lagos residence who may so be supported.
“We also urged federal government should undertake a thorough investigation into what happened in the Lekki Toll Plaza, particularly the role of the military and ensure that the outcome is made public with a view to achieving closure on the matter.
“We recommended that the federal government re-mobilize critical organs and agencies such as National Orientation Agency and formal educational institutions to focus on ethical re-orientation, inculcation of family values into the school curriculum. We recommended focus on etiquette, local reasoning, critical thinking, solution seeking, empathy, self respect, civic duty and human rights.
“We also recommended the Federal Government to actively seek and support the process of justice for all by ensuring that any of those apprehended and identified to be involved in the perpetration of this carnage be speedily be brought to justice and fairly tried.
“We also urged the Federal Government to implement the maintenance of facility management policy approved by FEC in 2019 for Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies and to encourage states to do the same.
“We do this because we see this as a usual vehicle to help absorb and create immediate employment of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled Labour, in order to address huge unemployment and poverty related part of the problem. This is important because people have skills but we need to provide the economic environment in which those skills can become income earning and self rewarding.
“We urged government to also restore confidence in the police and their morale among the officers of men and women and to improve their welfare, whiles tracking the ongoing reforms being undertaken in the police force.
“We also urged the Federal Government to consider through the federal ministry of health issues of substance abuse amongst the populace and propose solutions because, this potentially affects mental health. We made this recommendation mindful of the global opium and substance abuse crisis and the impact on our country as well. We think this is a matter that requires some attention and focus.”
Fasola listed facilities damaged in Lagos by hoodlums who allegedly hijacked the protests to have included about 15 police stations, commercial undertakings especially the ones in Lekki and many other parts of Surulere, schools, private properties and public buildings like the city hall, the Lagos High Court, Lagos Forensic Laboratory and DNA Center, the Nigeria Ports Authority and the palace of the Oba of Lagos and many others.
“So we presented the documentary evidence presented to us by the Government of Lagos State which was shown to Council,” the Minister said.
Elsewhere, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into acts of Police Brutality and other related Extra-Judicial Killings offences by the Nigeria Police force in Kaduna State set up by
Kaduna State Government has invites Members of the General Public to Submit their Petitions/Memoranda to the Judicial Panel.
The Secretary of the Panel Hajara Jibrin Abubakar Esq stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday.
The statement stated that the Petitions/Memoranda must be typed written deposition/affidavit on Oath, sworn to before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Notary Public stating the facts of the alleged complaints of Police brutality or related extra-Judicial killing within Kaduna State.
The statement further added that each Petition/Memoranda should be accompanied with photographs, video clips and or other material evidence, where available.
Each memorandum should also state the name, telephone number and contact address of the Petitioner (s) who may be required to give oral evidence before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry at the Public sittings.
“ Interested members of the Public are requested to submit Petition/memoranda in 15 hard copies and address same to:
General Hassan Usman Katsina House Kawo Kaduna
“ Submission of Petitions: Petitions / Memoranda can be submitted at any of the following Offices:Ministry of Justice Zonal Office, Dogarawa Zaria,Ministry of Justice Zonal office Saminaka. and All Local Government Secretariats (Office of the Secretary to Local Government).
The statement stated that residents of Zone Two can submit their petitions at Department of Citizens Right, Ministry of Justice.
Kaduna State Secretariat Independence Way Kaduna.
Judicial Panel of Inquiry Secretariat, General Hassan Usman Katsina House, Kawo Kaduna and all Local Government Secretariats, (Office of the
Residents of Zone three are to submit their petitions at the
Ministry of Justice Zonal office Kafanchan and all Local Government Secretariats (Office of the Secretary to Local Government).