The Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Police Brutality and Related Matters set up last year by government after the #ENDSARS protests has submitted report of her findings to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.
Governor Uzodimma had inaugurated the Panel on November 3, 2020 following directive of the Federal Executive Council to the states to do so ad part of measures to assuage the feelings of Nigerians following the #EndSARS Protests across the country.
Members were drawn from different segments of the society including from the youth, church, civil society organisations, judiciary, security agencies among others.
Submitting the report to Governor Uzodimma at the New Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Owerri on Wednesday, Chairman of Commission, Justice Florence Duruoha-Igwe (Rtd) said members recommended that a total sum of N770,985,800million be paid as compensation to petitioners by government.
Justice Duruoha-Igwe (Rtd) informed that their report is in three volumes: Volume I is the main report embodying the findings and recommendations, Volume II (a) contains Petitions from Petition No: JCIP/1/2020 to JCIP/77/2020, Volume II (b) contains Petitions and Memoranda from Petition No. JCI/78/2020 to JCIP/154/2020.
Volume III (a) contains Record of Proceedings from 3/11/2020 to 8/2/2021, Volume III (b) contains Record of Proceedings from 9/2/2021, 29/3/2021 and 4/5/2021.
She said the report shows that some of the cases reported to them were just a tip of the iceberg “which means that many people are living in self-denial as with the possibility of their missing relatives are still alive even after many years of missing, hoping that they may come back from police detention some day.”
The Chairman appealed to the Governor not to sweep their report and recommendations under the carpet, but urged the Government to do its best to “ensure that all their recommendations will be implemented urgently in other to restore the confidence of the people in believing that Government will correct the anomalies of the past.”
The Commission however urged the Government to embark on mass sensitization of its citizenry on their rights and privileges as it concerns the operations/functions of police and call out any infringement of their rights.
Receiving the report, Governor Uzodimma said “setting up of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Police Brutality and their subsequent sittings and receiving of memoranda from the public were able to calm the tempo of tension created by #EndSARS protest.:
He noted that #EndSARS protest was “an innocent protest by young men and women which was later hijacked by hoodlums and bandits which they used to cause mayhem on the citizens.”
“The Federal Government asked States to set up Commission of Inquiries to look into the causes or what led to the decision of the young men and women to embark on the protest,” the Governor explained.
He expressed happiness that with the report Government will have the idea of what caused the protest and the mismanagement and the level of damages to lives and property by the protesters.
The Governor thanked the Chairman and her members for doing a thorough job considering the intricacies of their assignment, stressing that they rendered a selfless service to the people.
He assured the Chairman and her members that Government will definitely implement the recommendations, noting that he has no doubt in his mind that “guided by the documents submitted; the Government action will be very popular and acceptable by the people.”
Present at the submission were the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku, Chief of Staff Government House, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie and other senior government functionaries.