Wednesday, December 30, 2020 8:12 pm
By Opeyemi Aremu-Gbemiro
The Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations has recommended the payment of over N1.5 million as compensation to four police officers and two other complainants who brought their cases before it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is contained in a statement signed by the Media Adviser to the panel, Mr Femi Bamisaye, on Wednesday in Ado Ekiti.
The panel at its resumed sitting presided over by its Chairman, Justice Cornileus Akintayo (rtd) in Ado-Ekiti , recommended the payment of N1,535,350 to six petitioners that complained about different forms of injustices and destruction to their properties during the #EndSARS’ protests last October.
Akintayo, in the recommendations, stated that from the oral and documentary evidence of the complainants produced through exhibits tendered as well as visits to the locus, the panel was able to establish the facts on each case and thus made appropriate recommendations
In the case of Insp. Omokhua Benjamin vs Unknown Persons, the complainant in his evidence said that on Oct. 20, 2020, he was on duty during the #EndSARS’ protest at the police station at Afao, Ikere-Ekiti when some youths numbering about 200 shouting ENDSARS slogans attacked the Police Station , burnt the station alongside his Golf 3 car valued N1.4 million.
He added that the hoodlums also stormed the official quarters of the police where he also lost his personal belongings during the mayhem
In its ruling on the matter, the panel recommended N400,000.00 as compensation for Omokhua’s Golf 3 car and N50,000.00 for the personal properties destroyed at the Afao Police Station official quarters in Ikere Ekiti.
However, the panel recommended that Omokhua should obtain valid vehicle particulars as a condition precedence to his collecting the money and was berated for driving the vehicle for seven years without valid vehicle particulars.
The panel also recommended a compensation of N400,000 for Insp. Yakubu Aminu in the case of Inspector Yakubu Aminu vs Unknown Persons.
The panel explained that the recommended N400,000 compensation was for Aminu’s Golf 3 car with Registration No AG828KER which was burnt by the #EndSARS’ protesters within the premises of Afao Police Station in Ikere Ekiti, on Oct. 20, 2020.
In his evidence before the panel, Insp. Yakubu stated that he bought the vehicle for N550,000 and wanted the Government to pay him N1.3million to replace it.
After accessing the cost of the vehicle, the panel recommended the sum of N400,000 as compensation for the Police Inspector
However, the panel recommended that Insp. Yakubu shall obtain valid particulars of the vehicle as condition precedence to collecting the recommended amount .
In the case of Olawale Adekola who said he is a press officer attached to the Ministry of Justice, the panel recommended a compensation of N142,850 for the following: speed light N75,000, repair of his camera N30,000 and cost of his medical treatment at N37,850.
Adekola had alleged in his evidence before the panel that he was stoned, robbed and humiliated at the House of Assembly Complex on Oct. 16, 2020 by a group of angry mob during the #EndSARS’ protests.
Adekola, during the presentation of his evidence, said that two camera lens valued at N690,000 and a photographic light costing N75,000 were stolen by the mob while he spent N57,850 on his medical treatment and N30,000 to the repair the camera.
He said that he wanted the government to assist him get the items back as the items were not insured.
Adekola asked for N833,350 noting that the damaged camera is owned by the Ekiti State Government.
However, the panel ruled that the complainant is not entitled to the cost of the 85mm Canon Camera put at N200, 000, and the cost of 70-30mm Canon camera put at N490,000 because both items are properties of Ekiti State, even though the complainant got the purchased receipt in his own name from his own admission.
In the case of Insp. Alabi Samuel vs Unknown Persons ,the panel recommended that the complainant be compensated with the sum of N170,000, for his stolen motorcycle put at N100,000 and other belongings put at N70,000.
In his evidence before the panel, Alabi complained that youths numbering about a thousand attacked the Afao Police Station in Ikere Ekiti where he was living at the staff quarters, during which his property were burnt while some were carted away.
Alabi testified that his motorcycle with Registration No. AKD645QB valued N360,000 which was parked at the premises, mattresses, a standing fan, a pressing iron, personal clothes, shoes and three police uniforms were stolen.
He also alleged that some documents including Police signals and receipts were also burnt.
The panel having considered the fact before it recommended the payment of N170,000 as compensation to Alabi.
However, the Panel recommended that Insp. Alabi Samuel should obtain current and valid particulars of the motorcycle as a condition precedence to collecting the recommended compensation.
The panel frowned that the police officer has been riding his motorcycle for seven years without valid particulars.
Also, Sgt. Adesina Kolawole said that some unknown persons on Oct. Merry20, 2020, attacked his Golf 3 car while he was on duty at the Nigeria Police Station, Afao, Ikere Ekiti.
He said that he parked his Golf 3 car with Registration No: AG40MUE under a tree within the station’s premises and #EndSARS protesters destroyed the car valued N400,000.
He said that they broke all the glasses valued at N70,000 and carted away the Car Tape worth N15,000, the battery N20,000 and broke the steering wheel valued N20,000.
Kolawole claimed that he spent N40,000 on the car’s body in order to put it back on the road .
Kolawole requested for N400,000 to repair the car.
The panel recommended that the sum of N130,000 be paid as compensation to the complainant but ruled that he should obtain current vehicle particulars as a condition to collecting the recommended compensation.
The panel, however, frowned at Kolawole for using his official position to drive his car for seven years without valid vehicle particulars.
The panel in its recommendation in the complainant involving Ayeni Micheal Ojo Vs Unknown Persons recommended the payment of N242,500 as compensation to Ojo to carry out repairs on his vandalised Nissan Primera with Registration No. LAW154AE.
Michael Ojo during oral evidence requested for N5million to be able to repair his vehicle vandalised by hoodlums on Oct. 20, 2020 on his way to his house at Afao, Kajola, Ikere Ekiti during the #EndSARS’ protest.
Michael, a commercial driver in his evidence, explained that after his passengers had disembarked at Ise Junction, he parked his vehicle beside St. John’s Primary School and then ran out of it when he saw that the #EndSARS’ protesters had blocked his way.
He said that by the time he returned to the scene, the front and back windscreens of his vehicle, the boot as well as all the traffic indicators on both sides had been damaged.
He prayed the panel to help him put back the car on the road after tendering the pictures of the damaged car which was admitted as exhibit ‘A’, and the vehicle particulars were admitted as exhibit ‘B’ to ‘B7:, saying he lost his job in April 2020.
The panel, after considering the submissions of the complainant, his oral and documentary evidence, concluded that hoodlums vandalised the vehicle.
It thereby assessed the cost of repairing the vehicle and recommended N242,500. as compensation to repair the vehicle and his lost earnings.
The panel, however, recommended that current particulars of the vehicle should be made a condition precedence for the payment of the recommended amount.
It noted that the complainant had been driving the vehicle for four years without valid and current vehicle particulars.