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Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry begins sitting, calls for more petitions

The Osun State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality and extra judicial killings has on Thursday commenced sitting in Osogbo, the State capital.

The panel headed by justice Akinwale Oladimeji a retired judge of the state high court had so far received five petitions since its inauguration fourteen days ago by Governor Gboyega Oyetola.

In his inaugural address, the chairman of the panel justice Oladimeji said petitioners must present convincing facts and evidence  before the panel before adequate compensation can be rewarded.

“this Panel is not a regular Court of law where law is strictly applied to cases but rather, a fact finding Panel, Therefore, it is the duty of every petitioner and in fact all parties who present petitions and defence before this panel to bring all facts and evidence in support of their cases before the panel

“Every petitioner who has suffered injury or loss wants damages or compensation to be paid to him, this panel is empowered to make recommendation on award of such damages or compensation but we can not do so unless you come and demonstrate to us how and where you sustained injury or loss.

It is the fact and evidence that you place before us that we must use to assess the injury victims have suffered in the hands of SARS in each of the cases, and the damages claimed by the Petitioners or any other parties as the case may be.

These are the things that will assist us in our duties, so that we will not therefore appear to be awarding arbitrarily low or high damages or compensation in the eye of the reasonable man” he said.

Justice Oladimeji noted that the panel would not entertain cases which the dispute are still pending before a Court of competent jurisdiction unless such individual file a notice of discontinuance in that court and evidence of discontinuance must be filed before the Panel.

He urged parties and their witnesses to be truthful and honest

While promising that the panel would be independent and giving fair hearing to petitioners, Justice Oladimeji urged the parties and their witnesses to be truthful and honest.

“In presenting your cases before this panel, we urge the parties and their witnesses to be truthful and honest, as righteousness exalts not only the individual but also the nation and the world at large”.

“Sometimes individual or group might have suffered defilement like rape in the hands of SARS, I know that in this part of the world, women find if difficult to come out or speak out on such evils and the reason for keeping quiet by them is not far fetched, they include tradition, culture, Religion and lack of emancipation”.

“Women must come out of their shelves and play down those things that cannot assist them to attain good status in life. When you do not come out to speak against evil you encourage the evil doers to do more of his evils”.

One of the petitioners Waheed saka urged residents of the state who might have a genuine cases against either police officer or individuals to come forward and present their case .

Earlier, the judiciary panel chairman, justice Oladimeji inaugurated three members of the panel who were absent during the former swearing in by the governor.

The panel would be sitting on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between the hours of 10am to 4pm for the next six months

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