The Akwa Ibom State Government has constituted a Judicial Panel of Investigation to investigate incidences of Police brutality in the State.
This was contained in a statement signed by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem after an emergency State Executive Council meeting held on Monday 19th October, 2020.
According to Ekuwem, the emergency Exco Meeting deliberated exhaustively and arrived at the following decisions: That the clamour for humane and responsible policing by Nigerian youths is a germane demand which must be listened to and addressed; That the youths in Akwa Ibom state who partook in the protests in Uyo have conducted same peacefully and with great respect for the individual rights of other citizens and they deserve commendation; That the demand for documentation of victims and incidences of police brutality in our state, is important and necessary for future actions; That as a responsible government, we hereby constitute a Judicial Panel of Investigation to investigate incidences of Police brutality in Akwa Ibom State.
Members of the panel are Justice Ifiok Ukana (Rtd), Chairman; Ms. Manti Umoh, Representative of Civil Society Organization & Protesters Representative; Mr. Harris Udoh, Representative of Civil Society Organization; Barr. Bassey Essien CP(Rtd), Senior Retired Police Officer; Barr. Omen Bassey, Youth representative; Comrade Aniedi Michael, NAAKISS Worldwide President – Student Leader; Tony Iji, National Human rights Commission; and Mfon Edemekong Esq, Ministry of Justice (secretary).
Briefing newsmen, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, said the terms of reference included to Receive and investigate complaints of police brutality, human rights violation and related extra judicial killings; Evaluate evidence presented /other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; Recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.
He also said the duration of the Panel shall be for three months in the first instance.
To this end, the inauguration of the Judicial Panel of Investigation will hold on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020 at the EXCO Chambers by 5pm
Dr. Ekuwem further affirmed the State Executive Council’s warning against the politicization or hijack of the protests and urged all citizens to commit the country to prayers and engage in activities and discourse that will magnify our unity and minimize our differences as this according to him is not the time for exhibition of disposition capable of causing conflagration in any part of our country.