The Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations, and Extra-Judicial Killings has concluded its sitting six months after it held its inaugural session.
A total of 58 petitions out of the over 100 complaints received were treated in the course of the panel’s sittings at the Magistrate Court 1 in the Isabo area of Abeokuta, the state capital.
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Solomon Olugbemi, announced the completion of the committee’s sitting while briefing reporters in Abeokuta at the end of the six-month period.
“The panel received a total of 106 petitions, out of which 58 were treated and the remaining 48 were either withdrawn, rejected, or abandoned wholly or halfway by the petitioners,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the media officer of the panel, Femi Osipitan.
Justice Olugbemi explained that some of the petitions were rejected because they were not in line with the terms of reference that the panel was given by the state government.
He, however, assured all petitioners and respondents of justice without fear or favour, saying the panel’s report was ready for submission to the state government.
The chairman of the panel stated that after submission, it would be left for the government to implement the report or not.
“Although the panel encountered some logistics challenges, it was able to surmount them,” he said of some of the hurdles faced by the panel.
The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, inaugurated the members of the panel on October 19, 2020, and gave them six months to receive and investigate petitions from members of the public whose human rights have been violated and abused by security personnel within the state.
He also asked the panel to make appropriate recommendations to the state government.
The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City is set to deliver judgment in the four petitions before it, following the conclusion of hearing and adoption of addresses.
One of the petitions, marked EPT /ED/GOV/05/2020, is a case between Agol Ebun Tracy and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The petitioner was the candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the governorship election held in September 2020.
Another petition marked EPT /ED/GOV/04/2020 is between the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and the electoral umpire, the PDP, Governor Obaseki, as well as the Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.
The third petition with reference number EPT /ED/GOV/02/2020 was filed by the Action People’s Party (APP) against Governor Obaseki, the PDP, and INEC.
The Tribunal will also deliver judgement in another petition marked EPT /ED/GOV/01/2020 which is a case between the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Iboi Emmanuel, and INEC, PDP, Governor Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Osagie Ize-Iyamu – the APC candidate in the poll.
Three of the petitions have their major issues bordering on the qualification of Governor Obaseki to contest the election.
In the fourth petition, counsels on both sides had argued over whether the issue was unlawful substitution or exclusion of the candidate of the sole petitioner.
The three-man tribunal is chaired by Justice Yunusa Musa and has Justice Suleiman Abubakar and Justice Olufunmilayo Stanley as first and second members respectively.
It is also scheduled to deliver ruling on some applications which it had reserved until the final judgement.
The Tribunal had its inaugural sitting on October 30, while the pre-hearing session commenced on December 7 and closed on December 16.
Hearing in the different petitions commenced on January 11, 12, and 13 respectively and the counsels have adopted written addresses in all the four petitions.