Barrister Tope Temokun

The verdict of the River States High Court sitting in Port Harcourt sentencing to death of two officers of the disbanded SARS, Shedrack Ibibio and Magus Awuri , for the extra-judicial killing in custody of Michael Akor and Michael Igwe accused of stealing recharge cards, is justice served and justice well-deserved.

A country can only thrive and succeed if there is justice. Any society that acculturates injustice into its culture is doomed to an inglorious end. Justice M.O.Opara’s name will go down in history as one of the makers of a new Nigeria if we survive this holocaust of misgovernance we are currently passing through.

I call on the judiciary to stand firm on its feet to ensure that this country live. The only way to discharge the onerous duty of rescuing a country on the precipice of a fatal dive like Nigeria is by ensuring that justice is dispensed to the citizens at all times.

After the END-SARS protest, judicial panels on police brutality was put in place to take grievances of those who have suffered grave injustice in the hands of these SARS devils while their reign lasted and those panels sat at the expense of the scarce public resources, millions of money deployed by our state governors to fund the setting up of the panels and their sittings. Recommendations were submitted. But till date many of those recommendations never saw the light of the day.

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It will be recalled that the Ondo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other related matters, after hearing about 77 petitions from members of the public who have suffered one degree of brutality or the other in the hands of the police in Ondo state, on Wednesday the 28th of April 2021 submitted its recommendation to Your Excellency sir, recommending among others, payment of compensation of N755MILLION to victims.

Justice Sidiq panel did not only recommend payment of monetary compensation but also recommended publication of apologies in national dailies in deserving cases, while also laudably, recommended a review of Section 84 of the Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act to smoothen the process of judgment execution against police and other public officers where victims of human rights breaches have approached the court and got favourable judgment.
But till date, the long waiting for the implementation of that recommendation still continues. Our leaders know but they pretend not to know that if they don’t give the citizens justice, they can never have peace.

Tope Temokun Esq.
Lawyer and Human Rights Activist.

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