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#EndSARS: Seven Months After, Delta Government Yet To Pay Agreed N102 Million Compensation To Victims

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The Delta State Judicial Panel of Inquiry had received a total of 86 petitions and 49 were heard on merit while 37 were struck out for various reasons after its inauguration in October, 9, 2020.

About seven months after the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration received the #EndSARS report in Delta State, it has failed to implement recommendations in the report put forward by the Delta State Judicial Panel of Inquiry, according to SaharaReporters.

Okowa had on Friday, July, 9, 2021, while receiving the report of the state’s Judicial Panel of Inquiry Inaugurated on October 9, 2020, promised to support and compensate families of victims as well as take other remedial measures.

The Delta State Judicial Panel of Inquiry had received a total of 86 petitions and 49 were heard on merit while 37 were struck out for various reasons after its inauguration in October, 9, 2020.

Following series of agitations concerning the delay in the implementation of the panel’s report, the state government in October 2021 in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Patrick Ukah had said it would pay a total sum of N102,450,000 as incidental claims to victims of police brutality and human rights violations in the state.

The government had said this was part of implementation of the recommendations of the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up in the wake of the October, 2020 #EndSARS protest.

“The state government, having considered the panel’s recommendations in these two categories of cases, has accepted to pay the incidental claims recommended for the victims, amounting to the sum of N102,450,000.00. This payment would be effected in due course. The panel received another 30 petitions which required the Commissioner of Police to carry out investigations to ascertain the circumstance of the death of some persons in police custody,” Ukah had stated last year.

Following the delay in implementation of the Panel, the Delta State branch of Take IT Back movement, TIB, had last year joined calls on the state government to implement the panel of inquiry’s report.

The TIB coordinator, Ighorhiohwunu Aghogho, had in a statement noted that the police were meant to protect the rights of citizens and not routinely breach such rights without being held accountable.

A human rights activist and member, representing the Delta State Civil Society Organisations in the Okowa-led Human Rights Protection Committee, Israel Joe, has meanwhile given the state governor three months’ ultimatum to implement the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry or he (Joe) shall resign his membership.

Joe, in a statement on Wednesday, tilted “Compensate #EndSARS Victims As Recommended By Judicial Panel Or I Resign My Membership From The Delta State Human Rights Protection Committee”, obtained by SaharaReporters, condemned the delay.

“We recalled the words of His Excellency during the inauguration of the Committee on 20th of October, 2021, where he promised to start up the payment for compensating the victims of police brutality as recommended by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

“However, this promise has not yet find fulfillments at this material time. I wish to state unambiguously and unequivocally that once compensation is not kick-started or paid before the end of April, I will have no other option than to resign my membership from the Delta State Human Rights Protection Committee as we shall continue to speak for the masses and their consistent plights.”

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