Rivers Judicial Panel receives 171 petitions against Police brutality

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Rivers Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and Extra-Judicial Killings has received 171 memoranda from members of the public at its inaugural sitting on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (rtd.) said the number of petitions submitted to the panel surpassed that in other states of the federation, including Federal Capital Territory promising that the panel would give fair hearing to all the petitioners, without fear or favour.

“The panel is a fact-finding one, separate and distinct from regular courts of law – but with coordinate responsibility to manage. It is enjoined by law to make its findings effective for the dispensation of justice.

“In addition, our mission is to do justice at all times to all manner of persons, irrespective of religion, colour or tribe,” Uriri said.

The Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt branch, Prince Nyekwere assured the panel of their support to enable it to achieve its target noting that the setting up of the panel to address human rights abuses by some law enforcement agents is a step in the right direction.

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“So, we are happy that the commission was set up in all the states to address the reason behind EndSARS protest by the Nigerian youths. We hope that the panel will give the seriousness that the assignment deserves,” Nyekwere said.

Members of the panel include Dr. George Nwaeka (Secretary) and Mrs Florence Amiesimaka (International Federation of Women Lawyers).

Others are Tonye Ibiaiki (NBA Port Harcourt), Chijioke Ihunwo (Youths), Karl Uchegbu (Civil Society Organisations), Rev. Richard Opara (Religious Organisations) and Mrs Bella Ebeku (Women Organisations).