ENDSARS Police Brutality/Human Rights Abuses: People shouldn't be unnecessarily anxious for the reports- Ebonyi Ombudsman


By Victor Nwegede

The Deputy Principal Secretary to Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Emmanuel Obasi has urged the victims of brutality by the Police and other Security Agencies and victims of other Human Rights abuses to stop being unnecessarily anxious for the reports of the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on ENDSARS, Human Rights violations, etc.

Chief Obasi, who is also the State Ombudsman/ Chairman Human Rights Complaint Office and a member of the Judicial Panel made the appeal this  Wednesday in Abakaliki.

He said the Panel and Human Rights Complaint Office are still on the process to deliver their mandate in accordance with the time frame given for the investigation.

He asked the people not to be unnecessarily inquisitive about the assignment on ENDSARS Human Rights Committee, and the Judicial Panels among others, as the time given for the assignment has not elapsed.

"People should not be unnecessarily anxious about whether there is delay because the period given to the Committee has not elapsed.

"I am not speaking for the Panel, because  I am not the Panel Chairman. But I want to say as the State Ombudsman that people are unnecessarily inquisitive about the assignment on ENDSARS Human Rights Committee, Judicial Panels and so on," he stated.

He explained: "After the ENDSARS protests, the State Government under the leadership of Governor David Nweze Umahi did set up Committees to address some of the issues raised by the ENDSARS protesters as directed by the Federal Government. The Judicial Panel of Inquiry was constituted to investigate all cases of brutality that emanated from the Security Agencies in the State alongside the Special Security and Human Rights Committee, Victims’ Support Fund and the Human Rights Complaints Office."

He added that, it is expected that by the time the Judicial Panel of Inquiry concludes the assignment at the end of April, all things being equal, it will hand over its report to the State Governor who is also the Chairman of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee, to officially receive and review the report and make it open. Part of the report that has to do with compensation and welfare of victims will be  sent to the Victims Support Fund Committee headed by Very Rev Fr Dr. Abraham Nwali for implementation. It is expected that the Security aspect of the report will be handled by the Security Agencies.

According to him, "the Governor's Committee will now review the report and make the Government White Paper on the findings public. After that, they will refer the welfare aspect of it to the Victims Support Fund Committee to handle - that's dealing with all the people according to the final report approved by the Special Security and Human Rights Committee. 

"That's the ENDSARS processes leading to addressing all complaints and  redressing of injustices that may have been metted on the citizens of Ebonyi State by Police and other Security Agencies," he cleared.

He reported that the Human Rights Complaint Office had in the past visited the Abakaliki and Afikpo Correctional Centres to interact with Awaiting Trial Males and Females to ascertain whether any of their rights is being violated by officials of the Service. 

He said that many Reports have been received, including Human Rights Abuses and other police brutality cases which happened some years back apart from the recent ones.

Obasi therefore, stated that the idea is to do the assignment very well and submit the report when finished, with the findings and recommendations within the time frame, noting that the Human Rights Committees and Judicial Panel have not exhausted their life span. 

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