Sunday, January 16, 2022

Why EndSARS panels, reports may become another Oputa commission – Festus Ogun

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Festus Ogun, a legal practitioner has expressed fear that EndSARS panels constituted by state governments may not achieve much.

The activist said over the years the authorities consistently fail to act on recommendations of commissions.

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Ogun observed that despite the proceedings, revelations and findings, police brutality persists.

The legal practitioner lamented how citizens are still being arrested and arbitrarily put in prison.

Ogun told VELOXNEWS that the panels appear to be “a calculated strategy by the authorities to give false hope for victims of police gangsterism”.

“My position hinges on the fact that the law places the implementation of the findings at the discretion of the President who himself has a stained human rights record.”

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The lawyer asked if Nigerians had forgotten the experience with the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (Oputa Panel).

Formed by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo after the return to democracy, the body investigated rights abuses during military rule from 1984 to 1999.

The Principal Partner of Festus Ogun Legal recalled that Justice Chukwudifu Oputa and his team submitted their report in 2002.

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“The recommendations are yet to be implemented, almost two decades after. I fear if the same fate will not befall the current EndSARS Panels.

“As we continue to live this lie, we should remind ourselves of the impossibility of a peaceful society in the absence of social justice, equity and fairness”, he noted.

In Lagos, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi presented the committee’s report to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on November 15.

Sanwo-Olu tasked Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) to lead a four-man team to produce a White Paper.

In reaction to outrage over the report, the state government told the people to wait for the technical paper.

Why EndSARS panels, reports may become another Oputa commission – Festus Ogun


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