The Osun State government has presented cheques totalling N53.2 million as compensation to 13 victims of police brutality in the state.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola presented the cheques to the victims at his office in Osogbo on Thursday.
In the wake of the October 2020 protests against police brutality across the country, tagged #EndSARS, about 28 states constituted panels of inquiries in response to the protesters.
The Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry, headed by Justice Akinwale Oladimeji, had, in its report, recommended N53,290,000 as compensation for the 13 of the 21 cases it heard.
While presenting the cheques, Mr Oyetola said no society can progress with injustice, inequality, and lawlessness.
The governor, however, appealed to citizens to continue to be law-abiding and show the virtues of ‘Omoluabi’ (a cultured person) ethos.
He also promised that the state would spare no effort in creating an ambience of peace and tranquillity for the citizens across the nooks and crannies of the State.
“Today’s occasion should, therefore, be regarded as a deliberate quest to redress the wrongs of yesterday and set our society on the path of true healing,” said the governor.
“Our decision to pay compensation, which ordinarily is not the responsibility of the state, since the police are not directly under our control, is a further testament to the commitment of our administration to peace, and the rule of law.
“Let me, however, reiterate here that the list of all those that have secured judgment debts has been passed on to the federal government for necessary action, in line with the recommendation of the Panel.
The governor also pledged continuous support for the police in implementing relevant reforms that would enable it to play its role of maintaining law and order.”
Mr Oyetola commended the youth and civil society organisations in the state for their understanding and tolerance over the years.
“I assure you that we will never let you down as a government in ensuring that we secure your future,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Oladimeji, thanked the governor for compensating the victims despite the lean purse of the state.
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