SARS: Lagos judicial panel adjudicates 34 petitions

Jesusegun Alagbe

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other Matters adjudicated 34 petitions at its sitting on Friday. The adjudication was part of recommendations on petitions with subsisting and valid court judgements.

The panel recommended that all such petitions with subsisting and valid court judgements in which there was no appeal against the judgements should be complied with, with the payment of the awarded sums as delivered by the courts.

The panel, in a statement obtained by Af24news, said the recommendations should be forwarded to the federal government through the Lagos State government for necessary action of payment.

“The panel also – in some of the cases, apart from upholding and recommending compliance with the judgements of the courts from which in its findings there was no appeal against such judgements – went ahead to recommend the prosecution of indicted police officers who were mentioned as being culpable for illegal arrest, torture, prolonged detention and extrajudicial killings of victims,” the statement read.

Read also: SARS is gone for good, we have no plan to bring it back – IGP

However, the panel dismissed some petitions for lacking merit, stating that it could not assume appellate jurisdiction over such matters for which a court of competent jurisdiction had already passed judgement.

The panel therefore admonished the petitioners to explore the judicial process for remedy if they were dissatisfied with the judgement.

“The panel affirmed the responsibility of the government, whether at the state or federal level, of protecting the fundamental right of citizens and where such rights are violated, the state is liable to ensure remedy in terms of compensation and redress,” the statement noted.

While adjourning its sitting, the panel also called on the National Assembly to review the provisions of Section 84(2) of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act of 2004, which it said “makes it extremely difficult for victims of state abuses to be remedied based on court judgements of financial compensation, as this negates the principle of justice.”

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