The six-month tenure of the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution For Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters has been extended by three more months.
The Chairperson of the panel stated this on Tuesday while responding to a request for another adjournment by the counsel for theh Nigeria Police Force, Cyril Ejiofor, in the Petition of Joseph Onyebuchi Nwafor vs FSARS.
Justice Doris Okuwobi confirmed that the extension granted the panel was for a limited period and warned the police team about leading evidence piecemeal. She adjourned the petition to April 20, at the instance of Mr Ejiofor.
TVC News gathers that the three-month extension takes effect from April the 19th, which would have been the initial deadline.
The Lagos panel which had sixty-five sittings since inception was inaugurated by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on October 19, 2020, to among other things receive memoranda from affected 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 nine-member body, which has now been reduced to 8 after the withdrawal of youth activist, Rinu Oduala’s membership is comprised of representatives from the state government, civil society, the National Human Rights Commission and a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police.
The Governor also established a N200 million fund for compensation to families and individuals who have been victimized by officers of the disbanded SARS.
So far, the panel has awarded compensations totaling N43.75 million to seven petitioners.
Out of about 235 petitions received within the period of receiving memoranda, the panel has sat over at least 115 cases.
Due to the Easter holidays, the panel will proceed on vacation as from Friday, April the 2nd to the 9th, and will resume proceedings on Saturday, April the 10th.