A 23-year-old, Samuel Ogundeji, who was falsely accused of stealing a banker’s wallet and brutalised by men of the defunct SARS, which resulted into blindness has received automatic scholarship from the Oyo state government.
The state governor, Seyi Makinde who announced this while receiving report of the endsars panel led by Hon. Justice Badejoko Adeniji (rtd), at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, assured that the panel’s efforts will not be in vain and that the government will soon implement some of the recommendations.
Daily Trust reports that Justice Adeniji-led Panel had payed for the first semester fee, accommodation, feeding and clothing needs of Samuel Ogundeji, who was brutalised by the SARS and blinded.
Speaking at the presentation, governor Makinde said; “Another thing that struck me was what your Panel did for Samuel Ogundeji, the 23-year-old young man. You paid for his first semester fee. You have really gone over and above what we expected you to do. You saw a vacuum and filled it immediately. The essence of all of these is not just to apportion blames but to ensure that when problems are identified, they are solved and also look at the future to ensure that we move away from this kind of thing.
“What we will do as a government is to follow that lead and ensure that the boy is granted automatic scholarship by the Oyo State government, which will cover his tuition fees and also stipends throughout his study.
“There are also other achievements that were recorded by this Panel. So, I want to thank you. I can give you the assurance that the report would not gather dust, as I will ensure that the one that is going to Federal Government will be dispatched immediately so that they can start dealing with it out there,” Governor Makinde added.
The governor equally stated that there will be restitution to the families of policemen slain during the crisis, noting that if the Panel’s recommendations did not cover that area, the Commissioner of Police in the state should come up with an addendum to that effect.
He added: “I listened to your speech and read through the recommendation. Some policemen were killed. These officers were killed at Ojoo and Iseyin. They are Nigerians as well, though they wear uniforms, so restitution has to go to their families. I don’t know if there are recommendations on this, but if there are no recommendations, we need to find a way to do that.
“I would have expected also that the Police would have come forward to say they are victims. If they did not come forward, I will still love to see an addendum. “The Commissioner of Police should also compile that so that we can also take it alongside the main report.
“I don’t want us to behave as if lives of our Police officers are not as important as those of others on the street.
“So, we will look at that. I want to give you the assurance that your work will not be in vain. “You will see very soon actions being taken towards meeting those recommendations.”
Governor Makinde, who used the occasion to commend members of the Panel for the job done, described one of the Panel’s members, who is also his Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Matters, as a problem-solver.
Earlier, the chairman of the panel, Justice Adeniji (rtd), said that the Panel received one hundred and fifty-one (151) petitions, stating that one hundred and twenty-one (121) petitions were heard to finality and were adjourned sine die for award of compensations.
She added that (30) thirty petitions were struck out for various reasons, adding that award of compensations were categorised into five groups and that the Panel recorded some achievements.
She said that the Panel’s reports and recommendations of awards are in two volumes, which includes “I and “IA.”
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