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Ekiti Pays Compensation to ENDSARS Victims

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Ekiti Pays Compensation to ENDSARS Victims
L-R: Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers/ Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi; a petitioner at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against Police Officers including officers of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Mr. Bode- Gboyega Olutope; Ekiti State Deputy -Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; Panel Chairman, Justice Cornelius Akintayo; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapounda; during the presentation of monetary compensation to victims of ENDSARS in Ado-Ekiti…on Monday.

Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi has made a case for the recognition and compensation of victims of crime as critical stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice system in the country.

The governor spoke during the presentation of cheques to victims of police brutality and ENDSARS protest in Ado-Ekiti on Monday.

The compensation amount varied depending on the gravity of claims by the victims, and was based on the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against Police officers including officers of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state.

The panel headed by Justice Cornelius Adetayo was set up in the wake of the ENDSARS protest last year, and was given six months to look into cases of human rights violations and make appropriate recommendations to government.

L-R: A petitioner at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against Police Officers including officers of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Mrs. Ogunleye Yetunde Ajayi; Ekiti State Deputy -Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; Panel Chairman, Justice Cornelius Akintayo; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapounda; during the presentation of monetary compensation to victims of ENDSARS in Ado-Ekiti…on Monday.

At the event, Governor Fayemi observed that the judicial system most often get engrossed with the offenders at the detriment of the social, financial, psychological and physical damage suffered by the victim of crime.

While presenting cheques to the first batch of 25 petitioners, Dr Fayemi said the gesture was to provide remedial measures for some of the cases of grave human rights violations brought about by the abuse of police powers as well as the violence, loss of lives and destruction of property occasioned by the protest.

Dr Fayemi explained that his administration decided to award compensation to victims of the protest before the expiration of the six months tenure given to the judiciary panel, to set in motion processes and systems that would continue to guarantee an effective and appropriate redress for victims.

To further strengthen the equitable dispensation of justice and provision of remedy for victims of crime in the state, Dr Fayemi disclosed that his administration was poised on reviewing the state criminal law with a view to ensuring that victims are recognized as important stakeholders in criminal justice system.

READ ALSO: Cargo Airport: Ekiti Pays N500m In Compensation to 700 Land Owners

The governor also disclosed that his administration has published a charter for victims of crime in the state and it is in the process of ensuring that all state justice institutions, relevant government departments and security agencies mainstream the charter into their operations.

The charter, according to him, clearly stated government policy on how victims of crime should be treated and supported to ameliorate the effect of the injury inflicted on them during the crime.

He further announced that the State House of Assembly has commenced a review of the Ekiti State criminal Code Law with the aim of ensuring that the interest of an offender does not over ride that of the victim of the offence.

Dr Fayemi also expressed the readiness of his administration not only to make justice accessible to all but also to actively participate in the ongoing national agitations and conversation on police reforms.

He said: “At the inauguration of the Judicial Panel of inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against Police officers including officers of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, I assured victims of abuse of police powers that they will get justice irrespective of their economic status, ethnic background, gender or any other difference. I also said that any police officer that suffers rights violation in the course of duty would get justice. I am pleased that we are able to honour this commitment today.

“My administration recognizes that enforcing the rights of victims require efficient institutions without which our laws and policies may not be sustainable. The Judiciary and the Ministry of Justice are important institutions in this regard. One of our strategic goals for the administration of justice is to have an adequate network of accessible and service-oriented courts across all communities in Ekiti State.

“May I once again formally apologise to all the victims of rights violations as recognised by the Judicial Panel for the hurt they experienced and the loss that they suffered. It is my hope that this monetary compensation will contribute to repairing your financial loss and other psychological and physical injuries that you have suffered. Please accept my very best wishes as you continue the process of rebuilding your lives.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Judicial panel, Justice Cornelius Akintayo commended the state government for implementing the recommendations of the panel.
He added that aside from monetary compensation, the panel also recommended the employment of some of the petitioners to provide a permanent remedy for the injury they suffered in the cause of the protest.

One of the petitioners, Mr Olugbolade Cole who spoke on behalf of others, commended the governor for his swift response to the petitioners’ cries for justice via a timely implementation of the panel’s recommendations.

Cole, a practising journalists said he and the other petitioners felt greatly relieved by the government’s gesture in addition to the justice that was done to their cases.

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BREAKING: Fani-Kayode Formally Defects To APC

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BREAKING: Fani-Kayode Formally Defects To APC

A former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode on Thursday formally defected from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC, and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, presented Fani-Kayode to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Fani Kayode said that he was led by the Spirit of God in his decision and that he joined the APC to help the unity of the country, adding that he was against anything that would cause the disintegration of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Southern Governors Meet, Insist On VAT Collection, Anti-open Grazing Law, Others

He disclosed that he was instrumental for the exit of three PDP governors to the APC.

The governors he mentioned were Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Bello Matawale of Zamfara State.

According to him, he has friends across party lines and he is wooing the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde and the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to join the ruling party.

 

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Southern Governors Meet, Insist On VAT Collection, Anti-open Grazing Law, Others

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Southern Governors Meet, Insist On VAT Collection, Anti-open Grazing Law, Others

Southern governors jointly took some decisions as they met in Enugu on Thursday, declaring that it is within their purview to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).

This is coming amid a row between the Rivers State Government and the Federal Government, a case that is now a subject of litigation.

The governors also reaffirmed their stand on open-grazing ban, urging every state in the region to quickly pass a law in that regard.

A communiqué after the meeting was read by Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Also present were Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta, Babajide Sanwolu, Lagos, Gbega Oyetola, Osun, Emmanuel Udom, Akwa Ibom, Nyesom Wike, Rivers, Dapo Abiodun, Ogun and the host Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

Deputy Governors present included Rauf Olaniyan, Oyo, Bisi Egbeyemi, Ekiti, Philip Shuaib, Edo, Ude Okochukwu, Abia, Kelechi Igwe, Ebonyi, Placid Njoku, Imo.

READ ALSO: Southern Governors Take Stand On National Issues At Enugu Meeting

The communiqué read in full:
“The Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum at its meeting of today, Thursday, 16th September 2021 held in the Government House, Enuqu, Enugu State reviewed tne state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in her previous meetings and further

resolved as follows:
“1. Expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the States in the Southern Nigeria are enacting or amending the Anti- Open Grazing Laws which align with the uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors and encouraged the States that are yet to enact this law to do so expeditiously.

“2. Encouraged the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfits; which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate, to ensure the security and safety of the region.

“3. Reaffirmed its earlier commitment to Structural and fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the Forum held on Tuesday, 11th May 2021 at Asaba, Delta State and emphasized the need for the Southern States to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembiy as well as representation in the National assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigeran Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.

“4. Following from paragraph 3″ above, the meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the States.

“5. Expressed satisfaction with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry ACT (PIA) and ownership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

“6. Reiterated their earlier position that the next President of Nigeria must come from the Southern part of Nigeria in line with politics of equity, justice and fairness.

“7. The Forum thanked the host Governor, Rt. Hon. IfeanyiUgwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the
Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November 2021.

“Arakunrin Oluwarotimí O. Akeredólu; SAN Governor, Ondo State and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum.”

 

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South East Lawmakers Move For Kanu Nnamdi’s Freedom

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South East Lawmakers Move For Kanu Nnamdi's Freedom

The South East caucus in the National Assembly on Wednesday decried the marginalisation of their part of the country and resolved to work for the freedom of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu.

This was contained in the communique at the end of an extraordinary meeting of the caucus held on Wednesday.

The meeting took place at the residence of the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.

The communique signed by all federal lawmakers from the region reads: “The South-East caucus of the National Assembly held an extraordinary session on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, to review developments in the South East, particularly (a) The security situation in the region vis-à-vis the sit-at-home orders and (b) The detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“Expressed solidarity with our people of the South East over the marginalisation of the region in the scheme of things within the Nigerian commonwealth. The Caucus feels the pains of our people and their quest for equity, justice, and protection of their lives and property in every part of the country. The caucus, therefore, resolved to continue to fight for a level-playing ground and an enabling federal system where Ndigbo is able to develop their homeland at their own pace and equally pursue their happiness and actualise their enormous potential in every part of the country, unmolested.

READ ALSO: Blame Governors, Others, Not IPOB Over Sit-at-home Order – HURIWA

“Reviewed the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB and the mayhem some nefarious elements have seized the opportunity to visit on the lives, properties, and psyche of our people. The Caucus equally reviewed and rued the incalculable economic losses and hardships these have brought upon our region.

“Resolved to condemn in strongest terms the disruption of the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in some parts of the South East, particularly the incident at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, where the English examination organised by the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, on Monday, September 13, 2021, was ruthlessly scuttled by armed men, who chased away the students, teachers, and examiners before setting ablaze motorcycles belonging to the teachers. This is certainly not who we are as a people.

“On the contrary, we are a people, who have always cherished and encouraged learning from the ages. We are a people that fully appreciate the place of education in the liberation and enlightenment of the human mind and the socio-economic and political emancipation of a people.

“Equally condemned in strongest terms the incessant killings in the South East. This must stop immediately. We call on the security agencies to unravel the culprits behind these wicked acts and ensure that they are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Noted with delight that IPOB has called off the Monday sit-at-home order and resolved to ensure that nobody uses them as façades to bring ruination on Igbo land.

“Call on our people to go about their lawful businesses and enjoin our governors and the security agencies to rebuild confidence in our people by not only ensuring the security of their lives and properties but also ensuring that our people feel safe as they undertake their legitimate businesses.

“Elaborately discussed the issue of Mazi Nnamdi and resolved to intervene. To this end, we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in this regard.

READ ALSO: Abia Threatens To Seal Markets, Others Observing IPOB’s Sit-at-home Order

“Appeal to our people not to allow anyone to destroy the South East region. The post-war South-East was not built through government patronage, but largely by the sheer determination and sacrifices of our people, who refused to resign to fate or bow their heads in defeat. It is in Igbo land that you easily find hospitals, schools, roads, and other social amenities built by individual or communal efforts of the people, home and abroad, through the instruments of the town unions and other community organisations such as the age-grades, Umuada, etc. The result is the comparative transformation witnessed in every nook and cranny of Igbo land post-civil war. Therefore, as a people, we cannot begin to undermine ourselves or become our own nemesis.”

“Times like these call for introspection. We must also always bear in mind that our people thrive in the industry, commerce, and informal sector. Importantly, most of our people depend on daily income. Therefore, while we must fight for our rights and legitimately express our displeasures over every form of mistreatment, injustice, and inequity, we certainly cannot afford to be the proverbial lizard that ruined his mother’s funeral. Anything that threatens Igbo businesses, the peace, security, and stability of the SouthEast threatens our very existence as a people. Consequently, bearing in mind that if we allow cracks in the wall, lizards will invade our home, we must all pull together as one people to discourage and resist any tendencies and actions, within or without, which pollute our business environments or encourage anarchy and instability in our region.

“Finally resolved to join hands with other patriotic Nigerians across regional, religious, political, and ethnic divides to reconstruct a federal system where our rights, happiness, and prosperity and those of our unborn generations are guaranteed.”

 

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