Osun state government has presented cheques of N53,290,000 as compensation to victims of police brutality in the state.
The governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, who presented the cheques to the victims at the Exco Lounge, governor’s office, Osogbo, Thursday, stated that the motive was a deliberate quest to redress the wrongs of yesterday and set the state on the path of true healing.
He said the gesture was a further testament to the commitment of the state government to peace, fairness, unity, justice, equality, and indeed, the rule of law.
The judicial panel of inquiry against police brutality, human rights violation, and related extra-judicial killings constituted by the state in compliance with the directive of the federal government made the recommendation which was approved by the governor.
“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.
“Let me however reiterate here that the list of all those that have secured judgement debts have been passed on to the federal government for necessary action, in line with the recommendation of the Panel.
“As an administration, we understand has no society can truly progress where the reign of injustice, inequality and lawlessness is encouraged to thrive.
“On behalf of the government and our people, I passionately appeal to all those who are justifiably aggrieved for the wrongs meted to them in one way or the other to forgive and allow the next chapter of true and sustainable healing to open up for the good of all.
“I assure you that we are committed to supporting the Nigeria Police Force in fully implementing relevant reforms that would enable it play its role of maintaining law and order.
“Today’s event is a further testament to the commitment of our administration to peace, and the rule of law. As citizens and officers of the state, let us reciprocate this gesture by continuing to relate with each other with the highest mutual civility, respect and understanding in the interest of sustainable peace and development,” Oyetola added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Akin David Oladimeji, extolled the governor for deeming it fit to compensate the victims despite the lean purse of the state.
Oladimeji who described the gesture as a right step in the right direction noted that the decision would further register confidence in the minds of the people.
Some of the beneficiaries, Teslim Ibitoye, Gbadamosi Olalekan and Adebisi Khadijat, expressed their profound gratitude to governor Oyetola for the kind gesture, saying he has indeed demonstrated that he is the people’s governor.