In reaching its decision on his petition, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi held that there was a clear violation of his fundamental rights as guaranteed under Section 34 of the constitution.
The panel also recommended that the police investigate and fish out its officers who brutalised Ekekwe with a view to sanctioning them accordingly.
In his immediate reaction, Ekekwe expressed displeasure with the amount awarded by the panel. He and his mother who had been taking care of him since the incident happened lamented that they had spent over N30m at the hospitals and wondered what they would do with the “mere ₦7.5m awarded by the panel”.
Two other petitioners, Andrew Okoh and Isaac Adeshina who suffered grievous body harm after they were shot in the leg by a police officer were compensated with the sum of ₦3m each.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS and other related matters on Saturday listed eight petitions for hearing.
The Nigerian Army was at the top of the list as the panel gave the military yet another chance to appear and state its version of the incident of Oct 20, 2020, at the Lekki toll gate.
Again, the military authorities failed to show up neither were they represented by counsel.
The panel then listened to the testimony of Serah Ibrahim, one of the co-ordinators of the #EndSARS protest who gave a counter-narrative of the events leading to the Oct 20, 2020 incident.
She spoke about the interactions protesters had with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, when he came to the toll gate. She also spoke about interactions with members of staff of LCCI about the billboard, placing of advertisements as well as interactions with police officers on the ground at the Lekki toll gate.
The panel also listened to the cross-examination of a former commissioner of Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Kenny Okolugbo.
At a previous proceeding, he had told the panel that his former tenant, Emmanuel Okaka, who owed him four months’ rent, had falsely accused him of the unlawful ejection, forceful entry and stealing.
Based on these false allegations, Okolugbo said he was arrested, brutalised and charged to court.
He also accused some online media outlets of conniving with one ASP Sunday Nwauzor and Zebedee Arekhandia of the Legal Department, to publish false information about the case.
With the petitioner now exonerated and the case struck out on the advice of the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP), Okolugbo said the Nigeria Police Force has greatly damaged his reputation, which threatens his political ambitions in 2023.
While asking the Panel to recommend the dismissal and prosecution of the two police officers, he sought a ₦30 million compensation for the trauma he suffered at the hands of the police.
The Judicial Panel on Police Brutality and Restitution of Victims on Wednesday received a complaint of one Mrs Esther Iruoha who alleged that her husband was killed at a checkpoint by a police officer.
Esther Iruoha, through her counsel Elijah Nyaro, is asking the panel to conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting of her husband, Reuben Iruoha by a police constable, Danasabe Waziri and award the family ₦200 million as compensation.
The accused police constable Danasabe Waziri is said to have been arrested, tried and sentenced to ten years imprisonment which has led to his dismissal from the force.
The counsel however told the Justice Christopher Awubra-led panel that since the incident occurred in 2012, the police only gave the family ₦270,000 in preparation for her husband’s burial and since then, have not come to the aid of the victim’s family.
“Life has been difficult for the entire family since my husband was killed and I wish to appeal that justice is served,” he said.
Counsel to the police, David Wankari did not object to the pleas made by Elijah Nyaro after documentary evidence was tendered.
Justice Christopher Awubra accepted all tendered documentary evidence as exhibits and frowned at the manner in which the police is frustrating its hearing by their absence.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS and other related matters on Tuesday listened to the testimony of a police officer, Hamza Aruna who was fingered as being complicit for alleged human rights abuses.A petitioner, 34-year-old trader, Ndukwe Ekekwe had narrated at previous proceedings the harrowing details of how he broke his spine sometime in 2018 when some policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) threw him off a two-storey shopping complex at Alaba Market in the Ojo area of Lagos.
Ekekwe who now uses a wheelchair to move around had specifically identified Sergeant Aruna as the Investigating Police Officer who led the team of officers responsible for his injuries.
The police had disputed this evidence claiming to have a video clip showing that the petitioner jumped and was not pushed.
Though the video evidence could not be played because it was in a format incompatible with the panel’s equipment, the Chairman of the panel has ruled that it should be made available to the petitioner’s counsel. She also said that it will be played at the next adjourned date, December 18.
The panel also listened to the police officer, Hamza Aruna’s version of the events which landed Ekekwe in the wheelchair.
In his testimony, the police officer denied that the petitioner was pushed down from a two-storey building.
He said that Ekekwe was arrested based on intelligence report that he and some others were breaking and entering into other people’s warehouses and shops, with firearms and other dangerous weapons to steal from them. He said the police also discovered that the petitioner was receiving stolen goods.
Haruna who was led in evidence in chief by the Police counsel, Cyril Ejiofor, said that they traced Ekekwe to Alaba market where they successfully arrested him.
“After the arrest, we took him to our office and obtained Ekekwe’s statement under caution. In his statement, he denied using arms but admitted receiving stolen goods,” he said.
“He told us the goods were in his shop so we went and obtained a search warrant from a magistrate.”
The IPO also said that after they had obtained a search warrant from the Magistrate Court, they took Ekekwe, back to Alaba International market where they discovered that he had two other shops and in the process of getting the shop keys from him, the petitioner jumped off the storey building while being handcuffed.
The officer said he was rushed to the Police College hospital in Ikeja, and then the National Orthopaedic Hospital, and finally Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). At the point of admission, he allegedly confessed to the doctor treating him that it was because he was afraid and didn’t want to tell the police the truth, that’s why he jumped.
Haruna said while Ekekwe was in the hospital, he went to visit him, about four to five times despite threats from the petitioner’s mother that she would throw him down from a storey building.
The independent investigative panel on human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad sitting in Abuja has ordered the police to pay the sum of two million naira judgment debt to Dr. Martins Iwuanyanwu for violating his right to access to justice.
At the resumed sitting of the panel on Monday, Justice Suleiman Galadima ordered the police to pay the money immediately based on the judgment of a High Court delivered on July 10, 2020 which the police are yet to appeal against.
The complainant claimed he was denied access to justice and effective remedy by the defunct sars and he obtained a judgment of the court which the police is yet to obey.
The Bauchi State Government has set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuses and police brutality in Bauchi State.
This was confirmed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant Media to the Governor, Mukhtar Gidado.
According to the statement, Governor Bala Mohammed who gave the approval will inaugurate the panel on Wednesday at the Government House.
The governor’s spokesman said the decision to create the judicial panel followed the recent protest by youths across the country against police brutality of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.
See Full Statement Here:
Following the protest by youth across the country against the recurring highhandedness and Police brutality of the Special Anti-robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force and the resolve of the Government to reform the Nigeria Police Force, His Excellency, Sen. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, CON, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State has approved the setting up of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate Human Right abuses in Bauchi State.
The Committee has the following membership:-
Justice Habibu Idris Shall (Rtd. High Court Judge) – Chairman
CP. Hamisu Makama (Rtd) – Member
Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Bauchi State Chapter – Member
Barr. Jibrin S. Jibrin, Civil Society Groups, Bauchi State – Member
Representative of Human Right Commission Bauchi State Office (NHRC) – Member
Representative of FIDA, Bauchi State Office – Member
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bauchi State – Member
Representative of Jama’atul Nasirul Islam (JNI) Bauchi State Chapter. Member
Representative of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Bauchi State – Member
Representative of National Council of Women Society, Bauchi State (NCWS) – Member
Representative of National Youth Council of Nigeria Bauchi State – Member
Representative of NACCIMA, Bauchi State – Member
Representative of Miyetti Allah Kautel Hore, Bauchi State – Member
Representative of Miyetti Allah MACBAN, Bauchi State – Member
Representative of NURTW, Bauchi State – Member
Comrade Mohammed Nasiru Umar ATBU representing NUBASS – Member
Representative of Attorney-General/Commissioner of Justice – Secretary
It is hoped that members of the committee will bring their wealth of knowledge and experience in the discharge of the committee’s assignment.
The Panel will be inaugurated on Wednesday, 28th October 2020, by His Excellency Sen. Bala Mohammed CON, at the Banquet Hall Government House, Bauchi, by 10:00am.
Senior Special Assistant Media to the Governor, Mukhtar M Gidado
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir ordered authorities on Tuesday to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate violence during anti-government protests that have rocked the African country, state media reported.
At least 19 people have been killed and hundreds wounded during the protests that erupted in cities, including the capital Khartoum, on December 19 after a government decision to hike the price of bread.
Human rights group Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.
“President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the setting up of a fact-finding committee headed by the justice minister to look into the incidents of the past few days,” state news agency SUNA reported quoting a presidential decree.
The government raised the price of a loaf of bread from one Sudanese pound to three (from about two to six US cents).
The ensuing protests quickly evolved into anti-government rallies in Khartoum and several other cities.
In the initial days of the protests, several buildings and offices of Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party were torched by protesters.
Riot police have managed to disperse the rallies so far, while security agents have arrested several opposition leaders and activists in a crackdown on suspected organisers.
Sudan is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and soaring inflation despite Washington lifting an economic embargo in October 2017.
The foreign exchange crisis has steadily escalated since Sudan’s partition in 2011, when South Sudan broke away, taking with it the bulk of oil revenues.
Inflation is currently running at 70 percent and the Sudanese pound has plunged in value, while shortages of bread and fuel have hit several cities.
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, is currently before the Senate Panel Investigating the killings in the state.
The Committee had on Tuesday last week presented a report of its investigation into the failure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the January killings in Benue State.
In that report, the committee stated that the IG informed them of the arrest of 145 people.
However, the Senate rejected the report of the committee for failing to get the views of the Benue State governor on the security issues in the state.
The House of Representatives has explained that the removal of Mr. Farouk Lawan as the chairman of the House committee on education was not to confirm his alleged involvement in a bribery scam but to allow the committee operate optimally while the case is being handled in the court.
Briefing correspondents, spokesman of the House, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, however, raised concerns that out of the two parties alleged to have participated in the bribery incident, only one has been arrested and charged to court while the other walks around free.
Mr. Lawan was allegedly nailed for bribery by the Chairman of Zenon Gas and Oil, Femi Otedola who claimed that he blew the whistle on the former chairman of the House Commitee on Fuel Subsidy Probe, alleging that he requested the sum of $3 million to remove the name of his (Otedola’s) company from the list of indicted companies in the subsidy probe.
Mr. Otedola claimed it was a sting operation involving the State Security Service. He also claimed there was a video evidence to prove that Mr. Lawan collected part of the agreed sum.
Re-visiting the Dana Air re-instatement by the authorities, Nigerians reacted sharply towards the move as Nigerians expressed shock and surprise in a vox-pop done by the ‘Station of the Decade’ to sample the opinion of Nigerians about the re-instatement of the Dana Air.
The Minister of Aviation; Stella Oduah was our guest on Sunrise daily this morning as she reacted to the lifting of the ban saying the ban was something that was not supposed to be done in the first place as it not an aviation practice as it has laws and procedures guiding the sector internationally.
She said further that the panel that was set for the technical and administrative audit for Dana Air and other airlines have completed their reports and Dana Air was not indicted for any wrongdoing.