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ENDSARS: Benue Judicial Panel commences sitting with 28 complaints


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THE Benue State judicial panel of inquiry to investigate complaints of alleged police brutality against the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has commenced its inaugural sitting with 28 complaints.

The panel headed by a retired justice, Adam Onum, was inaugurated in Makurdi, the Benue state capital on Monday.

“At present, we have received a total of 28 complaints more may still come later we also call for memoranda to help us consider and make a recommendation,” said Onum.

During the inaugural sitting, Onum said the panel would sit three times in a week except when needs arise to increase the number of sittings.

According to Onum, the panel is set to complete its assignment in a duration of six months. He added that the Panel would abide strictly with its terms of reference.

Some other members of the committee are Edward Yange who is the secretary of the panel, while Josephine Habba, Pharmacist Moses Asoo, Retired CP Anthony Ogboji, Ityonongu John-Mark, Joshua Tiv, Joshua Tyoyer are members.

The Chairman of the Panel said the terms of reference of the Panel includes to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, human rights violations, related extra-judicial killings, to evaluate the evidence presented and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints.
“The panel will also recommend compensation and other remedial measures where appropriate,’’ Onum added.

The Presidential Panel had recommended the investigation of all the officers on operation on the 9th September 2016 around Akpehe area on Abu Shuluwa Road Makurdi, Benue State at about 7:30 pm in line with extant police’ rules and regulations.

According to the Presidential panel, the investigation should identify the officers culpable for the death of late Emmanuel Tertsea Dia and the roles played by senior Police officers tasked with the duty of investigating the death.

The cases identified by the panel include the deaths of Agande Adi, Olowe Adi and Emmanuel Tertsea Dia.

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Although recommendations were made for the compensation of the families of the deceased, none of the police officers was named or recommended for dismissal.

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