Justice Akin Oladimeji, the chairman of the Osun judicial panel of inquiry into police brutality, extortion and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by men of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad, has commended Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for implementing the report of his committee, most especially the financial obligation recommended to the government, despite the lean finance of the State.
Oladimeji said this on Thursday when the Osun State government presented cheques of N53.3m to victims and families of victims of police brutality as recommended by the panel.
The Chairman of the panel expressed doubt on the reimbursement of the State by the federal government, whose agency (police) according to him, caused the troubles that led to the payment.
Justice Oladimeji said, “I seriously doubt if the federal government is reimbursing you for the money you will dole out today. I seriously doubt. Because those who caused the trouble are the police, an agency of the federal government. But I salute the humanity in the Governor.
“Lagos State is the richest State in the country and they can decide to pay. Delta state is an oil-producing state, they can pay as much as they wish. But here, Osun State is at the lowest ebb of what comes in in terms of allocation. The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is so low but the Governor is managing it very well. Even some of those oil-producing states are still owning workers but the case is different here. So I can say the Governor deserves commendation.”
The retired judge saluted the Governor for his prudence and financial sagacity, adding that he (Oyetola) deserves commendation from all residents of the State.
Presenting the cheques to the victims whose cases had been justified and recommendations for compensation were being passed by the Panel in his office, Governor Oyetola said the initiative has further confirmed that his administration was conscious of the fact that no society can truly progress where the reign of injustice, inequality and lawlessness is encouraged to thrive.
“Our decision to pay compensation, which ordinarily is not the responsibility of the State, since the Police is not directly under our control, is a further testament to the commitment of our Administration to peace, and the rule of law.
“As an administration, we understand that no society can truly progress where the reign of injustice, inequality and lawlessness is encouraged to thrive.” Oyetola said.
Osun became the third state to implement the report of the panel of inquiry constituted nationwide by States following the ENDSARS protest that rocked the country in 2020.