Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has appointed members of three committees on cases of police brutalities in the state.
This comes as youths continue the #EndSARS protests in Ogun and other parts of the country.
The committees are Judicial Panel of Investigation, Special Security and Human Rights Committee, and Human Rights Complaints Office.
Governor Abiodun’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.
Justice Solomon Olugbemi (rtd) is the chairman of the Judicial Panel of Investigation which has the Chief State Counsel at the State Ministry of Justice, Mrs Oluwatosin Ogundele, as its secretary.
Its members are Olayinka Folarin (Chairman, Ogun State Coalition of Civil Societies), Omonajevwe Abiri (International Federation of Women Lawyers – FIDA), and Deputy Inspector General of Police Babatunde Ogunyanwo (rtd).
Others are AbdulJabar Ayelagbe (Chairman, National Youth Council, Ogun State Chapter), Bamgbose Tomiwa, (NANS Chairman, Ogun State), and Aisekegbe Momodu (National Human Rights Commission – NHRC, Ogun State).
According to the statement, the Committee is to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, human rights violations and related extra-judicial killings in the state.
It also has the mandate to evaluate evidence presented and recommend compensation and other remedial measures for victims, where appropriate.
On the other hand, Governor Abiodun is the chairman of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee which has heads of the security agencies in Ogun, as well as head of any police special tactical unit charged with fighting armed robbery and other violent crimes, as members.
Babatunde Adeluola is representing the youth while representatives of the civil society are Peju Osoba of Child First Welfare International, and Obatungashe Adebayo who is the deputy national president of the Campaign for Democracy (CD).
“This Committee is charged, amongst others, with the task of ensuring the protection of the rights of citizens by all security and law enforcement agencies; monitor the prosecution of any officer indicted by the Presidential Panel on Police Reforms; and entertain complaints of human rights violations from the State’s Human Rights Complaints Office,” the statement added.
The trio of Joseph Ogunniyi who is the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ota Branch; Bamidele Adebayo who is the Director of the Department of Citizens Rights at the State Ministry of Justice; and Shodeinde Oluwaponmile who is the Ogun State Coordinator of the NHRC; are in charge of the Human Rights Complaints Office.
The committee is to facilitate easy access of complainants to prompt attention and assistance and give regular reports to the Special Security and Human Rights Committee for action.
Somorin stated that the appointments were in line with the resolution of the National Economic Council at its meeting on Thursday.
He noted that a seed fund of N50 million has been set aside as a start-up amount to enable payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims, under the Victims’ Support Fund.
In addition, the governor’s aide said his principal has announced the setting up of the Ogun State Human Rights Complaints Reporting Portal.
This, according to him, will be accessible to all citizens of the state to upload documentary and audio/ video evidence of cases of abuse.
Somorin hinted that that state government would establish a forensic laboratory to aid and support police investigations and crime scene management.
He added that the state would invest in the continuous training of police officers on investigation best practices, community policing, and intelligence gathering.
“The governor assured citizens that the committees need to be allowed a chance to activate measures to end human rights violations and compensate victims of previous abuses.
“The Committees will be inaugurated next week,” the statement said.