….. Accuse Govt Of Not Ready To Genuinely Address The Plight Of Victims
Anambra judicial panel of Inquiry on Police brutality and Extra judicial Killing has suffered setbacks following resignation of five members of the panel.
The members, mainly youth representatives were Mr Chijioke Ifediora , Mr Henry Ugwu, Mr. Osonwa Chukwuka and Mr Ebelechukwu Ngini and Chibuike Obiwuzie.
Announcing their resignation in a letter to Governor Willie Obiano, their representative, Chijioke Ifediora said their decision followed alleged government insincerity towards the panel set up to address the plight of victims and families of police brutality.
He also accused government of failing to provide the panel with the necessary logistics and support to function effectively.
He alleged the government had ignored the Panel to playing to the gallery, regretting that the society had viewed members of the panel as conniving with government to deny them right to fair hearing.
He said they were giving the government a two-week ultimatum to fulfill all condition to reconvene the panel, warning that the youths would hit the streets on failure to do so.
He said: “The state government had demonstrated through the way it had treated the panel that it was not set up to genuinely address the plight of victims and families of police brutality.
“Over 250 pending petitions from the 310 submitted but no word had been heard from government since the panel adjourned early December whereas it was supposed to have resumed on Jan. 14.
“The application for more sitting days to enable the panel attend to the plethora of cases had not been granted and that the society was now seeing members of the panel as conniving with government to deny them right to fair hearing.
“It is imperative to mention that Anambra, under your watch and that of your predecessor, was the cynosure of Police brutality, extortion, and even extrajudicial killings in Nigeria.
“The notorious defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Awkuzu and numerous other Police outfits in Anambra State have become infamous around the world for outrageous, unconscionable, and iniquitous violations of the fundamental rights of Nigerians, including the right to life.
“We were impressed when the Government promptly constituted the Panel to investigate cases of Police brutality and recommend compensation to victims among other points in its terms of reference.
“Sadly, the sittings of the Panel were characterised by inefficiency and poor organisation because the state government failed woefully to adequately provide for logistics for anything at all involving the proceedings of the Panel.
“We are however now convinced 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.
“Many victims and other interested stakeholders have been communicating the Panel’s secretariat or its members in a bid to know why the Panel is no longer sitting despite more than 250 petitions which have been unattended to.
“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 put up to give lip service to the plights of residents of Anambra State.”