Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong says that the recent constitution of Judicial Panel of Investigation by the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has restored the hope of getting justice into the consciousness of those who may have been victims of police brutality.
The Commissioner said this while fielding questions on today’s edition of the radio programme: Issues In The News, aired on Comfort 95.1 Fm in Uyo. He said that the constitution of the panel was in line with the ongoing clamour for humane and responsible policing by the Akwa Ibom youths through the #EndSARS Protest.
The Information Boss said that the state government having received the complaints of the youths, swiftly moved as a responsible and proactive administration and immediately convened an emergency State Executive Council Meeting ( SEC ) where far reaching recommendations were reached including the decision to constitute a Judicial Panel of Investigation to investigate matters relating to inhumane treatment and extra-judicial killings by men and officers of the now defunct F-Sars.
While justifying the manifest reasons for the Governor’s decision to constitute the Judicial Panel of Investigation, Ememobong also explained that the panel is to help the victims to ventilate their excruciating experiences in the hands of rogue officers and to also officially document their complaints for investigation in order for them to obtain justice.
The State Spokesman said that those selected to play different roles in the panel where men and women of proven integrity and commitment. He added ” a responsible and responsive government must attend to the needs of the people not just for the purpose of satisfying the present conditions but also for the purpose of creating a predictable future; therefore the choice of those selected to populate the panel has to do with people with credibility and people who have clear balance and understanding of the needs of the moments ” he said.
While responding to questions on the membership of the panel and the yardsticks for their selection, Ememobong explained that no number of persons or groups would have completely been enough to reflect the yearnings of the youths on ground. However, he added that the state government was only following a national template in setting up the panel and further assured that the opinions of individuals and organizations related to the investigations would be captured in the final report of the panel.
Comrd. Ememobong also explained that the constitution of the panel was aimed at inspiring confidence in those who in one way or the other have been affected by the highhandedness of those who should ordinarily protect them from brutality and other harmful actions. He added that the panel is saddled primarily with the responsibilities of establishing every case using the underpinnings of Law, Psychology and Sociology for effective delivery.
The Information Helmsman expressed optimism that the panel would discharge its duties with the highest sense of responsibility without fear or favour in order to fulfill its mandates.
The panel of 8 members has Justice Ifiok Ukana ( Rtd ) as Chairman while Mfon Edemekong Esq. is the secretary.
Other members are: Ms. Manti Umoh, Mr. Harry Udoh, Barr. Bassey Essein CP ( Rtd) , Barr. Omen Bassey, Comrade Aniedi Michael and Mr. Toni Iji.