#EndSARS: Umahi warns protesters against barricades, inaugurates judicial panel


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Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi on Tuesday warned #EndSARS protesters against barricading roads in the state as they risked facing the newly constituted judicial panel of inquiry.

Umahi gave the warning while inaugurating the eight-member judicial panel of inquiry into cases of police brutality, human rights violations and related cases of extra-judicial killings.

The governor said that barricading of roads amounted to violations of peoples’ rights as those to appear before the panel could belong to either side.

“The National Economic Council (NEC) directed state governors to set up judicial panel of inquiry, special security and human rights commission among others to look into the demands of the #EndSARS protesters.

“We have fulfilled the demands of the protesters in Ebonyi as the judicial panel of inquiry will be a legal instrument to be headed by the former state’s Chief Judge, Rtd. Justice Alloy Nwankwo,” he said

He, however, commended the #EndSARS protesters in Ebonyi for conducting themselves peacefully, urging its representative in the commission to submit a written complaint of the brutality and extortion activities of the Ekeaba police station, Abakaliki.

“We have agreed with heads of security agencies to dismantle all road blocks in the state as the state commissioner of police said that the road blocks were not authorised by the Inspector-General of police.

“Drivers should resist giving money to the police and try marking the money before calling the state’s Ombdusman.

“We have agitated for increment of police personnel salaries and general motivation and are taking it up at the national level,” he said.

Umahi announced that complainants should appear physically before the judicial panel to facilitate the handling of police brutality, human rights abuses, extra-judicial killings among other cases.

“The panel which has six months to perform its task, shall have full powers and authority and can hold sittings in Abakaliki or other places which will deem fit to it.

“We have also set up a victims’ support fund to be managed by the Chairman of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Fr Abraham Nwali, among other relevant committees,” he said.

Rtd. Justice Alloy Nwankwo, Chairman of the committee, thanked the governor for finding the members worthy of serving in such capacity, pledging to justify the confidence reposed in them.

“God’s willing, we will complete this assignment in record time,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that membership of the panel was drawn from the #EndSARS protesters, youth groups, human rights organisations, state ministry of justice, among others. (NAN)

Oct 20  2020 @ 19:55 GMT

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