Of 143 petitions received by the Akwa Ibom State EndSARS Judicial Panel of Enquiry, 28 bothered on extrajudicial killings and complete disappearance of suspects and death of persons in custody and 22 showed neglected litigations.
Also, 85 cases centered on infractions of rights, unlawful arrests, unlawful detentions, extrajudicial killings and others, with over 380 persons testifying and very numerous evidences tendered.
This revelations were made when the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Akwa Ibom State Government to examine the circumstances surrounding the EndSARS protest in the state submitted its report to the State Executive Council.
The panel which was inaugurated on October 14, 2020 as a post-EndSARS protest initiative with mandates to investigate complaints of police brutality, human rights violations and extrajudicial killings, draw conclusions on the validity of the complaints and make recommendations for further action, submitted its report in four volumes comprising the Executive Summary, Main Report, Verbatim Report and a photo book of all pictorial evidences.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, receiving the report on behalf of the state government, commended the committee for the thoroughness of the process and depth of the report and expressed regret over the death of a member of the Panel and representative of Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ijie.
Associating the EndSARS to some fundamental ills in the nation’s economy, Governor Emmanuel said Nigeria’s situation is a far departure from what is expected of her, given the wealth of manpower endowment in the nation, as he expressed optimism that the nation and all who witnessed the protest had learnt enough from it to avoid a reoccurrence.
“A country where, at the peak of work hours, one can call out fifty thousand youths and they will respond, there is something wrong with that country economically. …With the quality of manpower we have in this country, we should not be where we are, but here we are, at where we are, and this is the outcome of where we are”.
In his presentation, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ifiok Ukana, rtd., lauded the Governor’s discretion in the qualitative composition of the panel and called for a minute silence from in honour of the deceased panelist, of whom he spoke glowingly.
Justice Ukana said the panel, after several weeks of duly publicized invitation, inaugural sessions and public hearing, undertook elaborate deliberations from 14th March to 11th June, 2021, during which all petitions filed were carefully analyzed.
He disclosed that every policeman against whom allegations were leveled was served a copy of the petition and given time to prepare his defense.
He also explained that the facts and evidences of each case was summarized and recommendations made based on established logic in them or the absence of it.
GOVT HOUSE, UYO