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Anambra: EndSARS victims protest, demand compensation from Soludo

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Our correspondent

Victims of EndSARS protest in Anambra State, Tuesday, demanded the implementation of the panel’s report by Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo.

The victims recalled that two years after the panel’s report, the State is yet to implement it and urged Governor Soludo to come to the their rescue immediately as most of them are still suffering from what befell them during the EndSARS era.

According to a member of the panel and human rights activist, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, the report was submitted to the former Governor Willie Obiano, on 15th March 2022, and he did not implement the report of the panel before vacating office.

He said, “Pertinently, more than two years after EndSARS protest and nine months after the reports were submitted , government is yet to implement it, to the consternation of petitioners, victims, their legal representatives and Anambrarians”.

In a press release he signed and issued to newsmen in Onitsha, themed, ‘Justice could only be served unless unaffected are as outraged as those affected’, Ezekwueme recalled that during 2020 EndSARS protest, the Federal Government directed each state government to establish Judicial Panel on police brutality.

“Anambra State government established her Judicial Panel on police brutality with eminent and impeccable jurist, Retired Justice Veronica Ngozi Umeh, as chairman.

“The panel immediately swung into action and received 300 petitions, which is the highest in the country. The panel thoroughly and conscientiously investigated and articulated all the petitions with patriotism, selflessness and assiduously concluded its assignment and recommended, #699.900,000 to 170 petitioners, whereas some petitions were dismissed due to lack of purview of terms of reference of the panel, jurisdiction or merits.

“It is on record that petitioners, victims, their loved ones and counsel were very inquisitive and eager to know how the victims would be compensated and perpetrators prosecuted to act as deterrent to others.

“Unfortunately, more than eight months the report was summited, government is yet to implement EndSARS panel report, giving credence to speculation of people that this is political statement to douse tension,” he stated.

According to him, former administration of Chief Willie Obiano budgeted #300 million for compensation of victims, and petitioners who suffered various forms of loss, damage as a result of police brutality.

“They are looking forward to the implementation of EndSARS panel report for succor and consolation to assuage their pathetic, devastating sufferings and losses incurred by the victims, petitioners and their loved ones.

“Governor Soludo should know that implementation of EndSARS Panel report is piriority project that deserves urgent and immediate government attention. As a State with highest number of petitions, Anambrarians, Nigerians, petitioners and global community are eagerly looking forward to how the victims will be adequately compensated and perpetrators prosecuted to act as deterrent to others,” he stated.

He stressed the need for the payment of the compensation pointing out that if not done the intention of government will be defeated as panel report would become relentless efforts without effect and victims agony, pains and sorrow would excerbate.

He urged Soludo to promptly do the needful to rescue the situation by paying compensation to the petitioners and save the image of the state, the Panel chairman and members.

“I equally commend selfless services and sacrifices made by revered Hon. Justice Veronica Umeh and her panel in serving the State with greater interest of the people at heart,” Ezekwueme posited

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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