The Lagos State Government has extended the timeframe of the state judicial panel investigating SARS brutality by three months.
The State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on October 19, 2020 had set up the judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses to among other things receive memoranda from concerned members of the public and inquire into cases of abuse, brutality, torture, and extrajudicial killings by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS) in Lagos.
The new date has been fixed for July 19 against the earlier deadline of April 19, 2021.
A letter confirming the extension was sent to Justice Doris Okuwobi, the chairman of the panel.
“I am directed by the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to inform you that further to your memorandum dated 11th March 2021, Mr Governor has approved an extension of the tenure of the panel by three months,” a letter signed by T.K. Shitta-Bey, the solicitor-general and Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of Justice read.
The Lagos state judicial panel was given an initial mandate of six months to hear petitions submitted by members of the public, while a total of N200 million was earmarked as compensation.
Five months after the commencement of the hearing, the panel had received 235 petitions, while more than 115 cases have passed the hearing stage.
So far, the panel has compensated seven petitioners, with a total sum of N43,750,000.
By Abel Ejikeme