Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has formally inaugurated a sixteen man Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate allegations of extra-judicial killings and brutality by security agents in the State with a retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Sunday Imo as Chairman.
Inaugurating the panel, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu charged the panel members to investigate cases of extrajudicial killings by police men and other security agents from 2015 to date, investigate all forms of police brutality, extortion and intimidation from 2015 to date, to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the ENDSARS protest and other grievances associated to it, examine the root causes of the hijack of the peaceful ENDSARS protest by hoodlums and identify those involved as well as do all other things necessary to give effect to the terms of reference including but not limited to the recommendations to government on possible compensations to ascertained victims.
According to the Governor, he expects the panel to turn in its report within 12 weeks. He said the turn of events of ENDSARS protest is unfortunate in view of the collateral damage so caused on lives and property in the State and urged the youths to restrain from further protest as government has noted their demands.
The Governor said that his administration is currently looking at the demands of the youths with a view to meeting them. The Governor, who regretted the destruction of public and private infrastructures in the State pointed out that he would mobilize the youths in rebuilding the damaged infrastructure through Direct Labour.
Other members of the panel included; Nwakanma John, Daniel Chinagozi, Ariwa Zuby, Eric Ikwuagwu, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, Comrade John Emejor, Comrade Nnanna Nwafor, Mrs. Doris Ogala, Barr. Uche Nwokocha, Mr Nkemjika Nnadozie, Mr Enyinnaya Standhope Nwigwe, Mrs Anastasia Uchenna, Mr. Ndubuaku Nwogu, Engr. Steve Sylvanus and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Barr.(Mrs.) Uzoamaka Ikonne who serves as Secretary to the panel.
Responding on behalf of other members, the Chairman of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, Justice Sunday Imo assured that the panel would carry out the assignment with all deligence considering the importance of the assignment. He thanked the Governor for the opportunity to serve and assured that the panel members would not to fail the people of the State.
Deputy Governor Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem, Honorable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uche Ihediwa Esq, other members of the State Executive Council, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere and other top officials of the State Government were present at the event which held at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House Umuahia.