#EndSARS: Benue state to set up victim support funds

By Matthew Ajai-Kume
The Benue State Government is to set up a Victims Support Funds to enable the state monetarily compensate deserving victims of violation and brutality by Nigeria Police Force ,Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Unit.
Governor Samuel Ortom revealed this on Wednesday while swearing-in members of the Benue State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Human Rights violation by the Nigeria Police Force ,Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Unit.
While charging members of the panel to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality ,Human Rights Violation and related extra-Judicial killings, the Governor said constitution of the panel was in line with the resolutions of the 108th meeting of the National Economic Council in Abuja.
Governor Ortom stressed that this measure is directed at addressing the complaints raised by the ENDSARS protests across the country.
“The terms of reference of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry includes, to evaluate evidence presented and other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the the complaints” he said.
Other terms of reference  for panel to include, to recommend compensation and other remedial measures where appropriate.
“The assignment of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry shall be concluded within a period of Six (6) months” he said
He maintained that members of the panel are carefully selected based on fair representation and merit, adding that expectations are that they would justify the confidence reposed in them.
“I therefore call on all of you who have been given this important duty to carry out thorough investigation into the reprehensible activities of the Nigeria Police in Benue State especially SARS by providing opportunity for victims to come forward to testify” he noted.
Governor Ortom said in line with the Resolutions of the National Economic Council Meeting of October 15th,2020,the state government would also set up a Special Security and Human Rights Committee, which will be saddled with the responsibility to monitor the activities of the Special Tactical Units that may be established by the Nigeria Police.
Responding, the Chairman of the Panel ,Retired Justice Adam Onum said the task is a very enormous one but promised that the panel would be thorough in carrying out the responsibilities placed on them to give justice to all.
Members of the panel include Retired Justice Adam Onum as Chairman, Josephine Haba, Pharmacy Moses Asoo and CP Anthony Ogboji.
Others members are, James Mark Ityonongu,Joshua Tiv ,Joshua Tyoyer and Edward Yange as member and secretary.

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