#EndSARS: 5 youth members of Anambra State Judicial Panel of Inquiry resign
By Alfred AJAYI
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FIVE youth members of Anambra State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the allegations of extra- judicial killings, police brutality and other complaints have resigned their appointments.
This, according to them, was as a result of the failure of state government to provide all necessary logistics for the all-important task.
In an open letter addressed to Governor Willie Obiano, and read by Chijioke Ifediora during a press briefing in Awka, the youth regretted that the panel had not been able to reconvene more than six weeks into the new year, despite that the state had been a cynosure of police brutality, extortion and extrajudicial killings.
The members noted with dismay that the sittings of the panels last year were characterised by inefficiency and poor organisation due to the failure of the state government to provide all the needed logistics.
They wondered why government of the state with highest number of petitions in the country had not shown commitment to the plights and grievances of the youth, which led to #EndSARS protest across the country.
“We are however now convinced now beyond peradventure that the Anambra State Government has no regard for the victims of the many human rights violations by the police in the state. The Government has totally ignored the panel and had simply set up the panel to play to the gallery,” they said.
“We firmly refuse to be pawns in the game of the government, so we hereby resign our appointments into the Anambra State Panel and completely dissociate ourselves from all the charade out up to give lip service to the plights of residents of Anambra State.”
According to the youth, citizens of the state were already accusing the panelists of conniving with the government to play over their intelligence, a situation they noted was not healthy for their reputation as youths.
“Many victims of abuse and other interested stakeholders have been communicating the panel Secretariat or its members in a bid to know why the panel is no longer sitting despite more than two hundred and fifty petitions, which have been unattended to. All these inquiries have failed to yield concrete results and the Government despite being aware of the interest of the public is showing no signs of interest in the activities of the panel,” they further said.
“The undersigned are fully aware that our position expressed in this correspondence may expose us to blackmail and intimidation, but we are determined to say the truth,” he vowed.
In a remark, Ude Chibike Emmanuel, described as a passionate youth, hinted that another round of protest was in the offing if the panel did not reconvene in the next two weeks.
“You can quote me anywhere, if the panel does not reconvene in the next two weeks, you will see us outside there again.”
Apart from Chijioke Ifediora, other youth members who resigned their appointments were: Henry Chibuike Ugwu, Osonwa Chukwuka, Ebelechukwu Ngini and Kas Chibuike Obiwuzie.
The state had set up the panel in late 2020 to examine petitions against the police, especially the disbanded State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).