Gov Abiodun told to release Ogun EndSARS panel’s report in seven days

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Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has been asked to release or publish the recommendations of the Ogun State judicial panel on police brutality, otherwise known as EndSARS panel, within seven days.

A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Crusaders of Freedom Initiative, made the request in a letter addressed to Abiodun on Friday.

The NGO, through its counsel, Kayode Aderemi, reminded the governor that the EndSARS panel had submitted its recommendations to him since July 2021.

Pursuant to Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the group asked Abiodun to make public the recommendations of the panel.

A copy of the letter titled, ‘Request for the release/publication of details of the Ogun State EndSARS panel’s recommendation’, read in part:

“We are the solicitors to the Crusaders of Freedom Initiative, a registered NGO. We write on her instruction. The above subject refers, Sir.

“We commend Your Excellency for swiftly acceding to the demands of millions of youths to set up the ENDSARS Panel. We understand that the Panel has concluded her sittings and made her recommendations to your Excellency, since July, 2021. We hereby humbly request for the release/publication of the details to the Panel’s recommendations.

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“We made this request pursuant to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, which guarantees any person to access or request information in custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution.

“Pursuant to Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, we urge your Excellency to accede to our request within 7 days from receipt of this request.”

Speaking with Newspot, Aderemi charged the State government to make public the report of the panel, saying the panel was a private one.

The legal practitioner stated that he represented no fewer than four petitioners at the panel, expressing dissatisfaction that none of his clients knew their fate as far as the panel was concerned.

“The EndSARS panel was a public hearing, not a private hearing. So, it is common sense that the recommendations of a public hearing should be made public. There is no alternative to that. That’s just the normal thing. Even in Lagos, the recommendations were made public, we knew who was getting what. Personally, I represented about four petitioners at the panel. As I speak with you, none of them knows their fate, despite the fact that the panel concluded several months ago.

“Since it was a public hearing, recommendations should be made public. Newspapers covered petitions and hearings, why should the recommendations be private?” he queried.

The counsel threatened to approach the court if Gov Abiodun failed to release the panel’s report in accordance with the FOI Act in seven days.

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