Human rights abuses by cops, SARS personnel: Fayemi sets up Judicial Panel of Inquiry

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State: Chairman, NGF


…inaugurates ‘Amotekun’ in Ekiti

…. says security outfit not a substitute to other security architecture

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, has directed the immediate establishment of Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations against Police Officers including officers of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) and other Persons.  

This is contained in a statement signed by Olayinka Oyebode, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

Members of the Panel are:

1) Honourable Justice Cornelius Akintayo (Rtd) – Chairman

2) Mr. Dipo Ayeni, Commissioner of Police (Rtd)

3) Mrs. Yetunde Kolawole, State Counsel- (Representing the Honourable Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice)

4) Mrs. Kikelomo Owolabi, Chairperson, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikere-Ekiti Branch

5) Mr. Rotimi Ojomoyela, Chair, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ekiti State Branch

6) Mr. Jamiu Abiodun Adigun, Representative, National Human Rights Commission

7) Mr. Adeyinka Opaleke, Representative, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria  

8) Ms. Caroline Fakinlede, Ekiti State Youths Representative 

9) Mr. Abiola Johnson-Ogunleye- Ekiti State Students Representative 

10)  Mr. Akin Rotimi, Researcher, Police Reforms 

The Terms of Reference of the Judicial Panel are:

i) Receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra-judicial killings;

ii) Receive and Investigate complaints of violence against individuals and destruction of properties in every part of Ekiti State in the course of the protest;

iii) Evaluate evidence presented and other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and

iv) Recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

While the duration of the assignment of the panel will be six months, the Chairman of the panel will be expected to provide monthly briefings to the Honourable Attorney- General & Commissioner for Justice to further enhance the speedy consideration of all complaints.

 In order to enable the panel respond appropriately to the urgent needs of victims of rights violations, Mr. Governor has established a Victims Compensation Fund to enable the speedy payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims.

 Mr. Governor has further directed the Ministry of Justice to immediately ensure that its Department of Citizens Rights in addition to receiving walk-in complaints by victims of Human Rights violation is able to receive, process and resolve complaints by telephone or social media channels.

Also today, Governor Fayemi inaugurated the Ekiti State Security Network Agency, codenamed ‘Amotekun Corps’ saying it was not meant to replace or discredit other traditional security agencies, but to collaborate with and strengthen their operations.

The Governor explained that the establishment of the security outfit was a child of necessity aimed to solve and address the various security challenges bedevilling the state and the southwest zone in particular and Nigeria in general.

Dr Fayemi, who stated this at event which also featured Passing out Parade of the newly recruited personnel of the  outfit at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, Ado-Ekiti,  noted that fighting crime was a collective responsibility which required input and collaboration of every citizen.

He said that the agency, in the course of carrying out its duty, would safeguard the human rights of the citizens of the state as enshrined in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria adding that all citizens are expected to go about their normal businesses without any fear of intimidation.

The Governor, who had earlier carried out inspection of the quarter guard and parade was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Biodun Oyebanji, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Biodun Omoleye and the Chairman, Traditional Council in the state and the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Alabi among others.

According to Dr Fayemi, “The precarious security situation we are contending with nationwide has created a palpable fear in the minds of our people, the current challenges of proliferation of small arms and light weapons, kidnapping, assassination, cattle rustling, ritual killing, armed robbery, cultism and youth restiveness are daunting but surmountable.

“For the umpteenth time, I hereby reiterate that Amotekun is not a substitute for any of the existing security agency. Amotekun is here to strengthen our general security architecture by collaborating and synergizing with all existing security agencies to ensure security and safety of lives and properties of Ekiti kete using local knowledge and native intelligence.

“As a government, we are determined to put an end to this worrisome development of insecurity, we are encouraged and strengthened by the sense of responsibility and collective support that our people at home and in the diasporas give the Amotekun initiative.

 “Amotekun is established to ensure the safety and freedom of not only Ekiti indigene or Yoruba people but everyone resident within and around Ekiti state. It is to protect and safeguard all within our state and indeed within our zone.”

Fayemi, who explained that the impact of Covid-19 had caused the delay in the launch, charged every member of the society to be vigilant and be wary of shielding criminals in their communities adding that cooperation of all was important at this time for the outfit to succeed.

“It is also noteworthy that Ekiti state Security Network Agency will collaborate with similar security network agency in other states including but not limited to Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Oyo states to deterred kidnapping, terrorism, destruction of lives and properties, highway robberies and any other criminal activities and to assist the police and other security institution in apprehending such criminals.

“Crime fighting is a collective responsibility, all hands must be on deck in our quest to restore peace and stop criminality in our state and region, those who engage in criminal activities live within and around us. Let us be vigilant and be sensitive to new faces in our midst.

While congratulating the corps officers, the governor enjoined them to shun any act that can tarnish or rubbish the image and purpose of the outfit. He further charged them to live above board and respect the oath they sworn to.

Earlier, the Corps Commander, Brig-Gen. Joe Akomolafe (rtd) warned all criminal minded people in Ekiti State to leave as the state was  no longer safe for criminals, adding that the mandate revolves around protection of lives and properties of the people.

The Commander, who reminded the Corps officers that they are under constituted authority, enjoined them to promptly report any situation for further directives.