End SARS: Ekiti panel receives 22 petitions as hearing begins

The Chairman of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to probe into the cases of police brutality against the operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) in Ekiti State, Justice Cornelius Akintayo, has disclosed that it has received 22 petitions from members of the public.

The panel held its inaugural sitting on Monday, November 2, 2020, in Ado Ekiti.

Akintayo appealed to the petitioners to assemble their witnesses, so that all the matters pending before the panel can be heard timeously.

Meanwhile, all the 22 cases were mentioned yesterday before the panel.

But the panel heard the case of one Daramola Abiodun Olusola, a native of Ire Ekiti, who lived on Lane 3, Owode quarters in Ado Ekiti, whose car was allegedly vandalised by hoodlums during the End SARS protest on the 19th of October, 2020 in the capital city.

Giving the graphic details of his experience, Daramola said: “On that day, I wanted to make some purchases, I drove out in my 505 Saloon Car when I met some protesters at Dallimore junction who mounted barricade and behaved in a fiercer manner than the one I had earlier crossed.

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“I then packed my car by the roadside and trekked to Okesa market. By the time I came back, my car had been vandalized. The body and windows were smashed.

“When I did the rough estimation, it shows that it will take up to N150,000 to fix the vehicle and I will be glad if the government can ameliorate the pain by helping me fix it back”.

Justice Akintayo told the complainant to bring the vehicle and particulars before the panel on November 10,for assessment.

The case of Adekunle Ayaga, who was shot by a policeman during a rally in Ilawe Ekiti in 2009 was also brought before the panel.

Also mentioned was the case of the murdered Seyi Fasere, a student of the Ekiti State University, who was allegedly shot by the police during a robbery between Oye-Ilupeju road on February 28, 2013.

Speaking with journalists after the proceeding, Barr. Emmanuel Akinosi, who represented Fasere’s parents, Mr. and Mrs Florence and Joseph Fasere, said 10 witnesses resident in Ekiti would be called to testify against the police.

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Akinosi added that, “two of them, a ballistic expert from Lagos and a medical doctor that provided the autopsy from FETHI would be subpoenaed.”

Akinosi stated that the Ado Ekiti High Court presided over by Justice Ogunyemi, had earlier in a judgement of November 25, 2014, awarded N6m damages and rendering of public apology in two national dailies against the police, which he said they refused to comply with.

The two cases were adjourned to November 10, for hearing.

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