By Johnpaul Anih, 28-10-2020
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Wednesday, conveyed the sympathy of his administration to the families of private citizens and security personnel who lost their loved ones to the unfortunate violence and criminality precipitated by the hijack of the otherwise peaceful #EndSARS protests by miscreants.
The governor also conveyed his administration’s compassionate consideration to private citizens and security personnel who suffered grievous bodily injuries during the mayhem as well as private citizens’ properties and security infrastructure.
Gov. Ugwuanyi made the solemn expressions when he inaugurated the nine-member Administrative Panel of Inquiry he constituted on Tuesday “to determine the loss of lives and/or other grievous bodily injuries to private citizens and security personnel as well as destruction of properties of private citizens and security infrastructure in Enugu State resulting from the hijack of the #EndSARS protests by miscreants”.
The governor who expressed gratitude to God for the significant return to normalcy in the state, gratefully acknowledged the wise counsel of the traditional rulers, religious leaders and stakeholders “who in the heat of the mayhem, lent their voices to the call for restraint and responsible citizenship”.
He also applauded the youth for rising “in defense of our coal city”, adding that “the freewill cleaning of the post-protest debris on our streets by volunteers and donors is deeply appreciated”.
According to him, “Our administration has elected to mitigate the pains of the loss of lives of private citizens and security personnel, their grievous bodily injuries and destruction of properties of private persons and security infrastructure occasioned by the hijacked #EndSARS protests”.
Disclosing that he constituted the panel pursuant to Executive Order No. 04 of 2020, dated 27th October, 2020 “made in exercise of my powers under Section 4, Subsection 1 of the Commission of Inquiry Law Cap. 24 of the Revised Laws of Enugu State 2004”, Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed confidence that “the members of this panel have the expertise and gravitas for this assignment”.
He therefore enjoined residents of the state to avail the panel the cooperation and support for expeditious delivery on its mandates, and remain vigilant and peaceful.
Members of the panel, which has sixty days to conclude and submit its report include – Justice Fredrick Obieze, (Rtd.) – Chairman; Professor Frank Ezugwu (Provost, ESUTH College of Medicine) – Member; Professor Agozie Ogbodo (Dean, Faculty of Law, Godfrey Okoye University) – Member; H.R.H. Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu(Traditional Ruler of Ibagwa Nike) – Member; Professor Ngozi Ejionueme (Head, Department of Marketing, ESUT) – Member.
Others are Rev. Emmanuel Edeh (CAN Chairman in Enugu State) –Member; Chief Frank Maluze (Chartered Estate Surveyor and Valuer) – Member; Comrade Modester Onwuha (Vice-President, SUG, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus) – Member; Barrister Ben. Chinedu Oloko (Private Legal Practitioner representing the Youths) – Member and Mr. Charles Abugu (Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Service) – Secretary.
The panel’s terms of reference include “to identify private persons and security personnel who lost their lives and recommend compensation that may be paid to their families” and “to identify private persons and security personnel who sustained grievous bodily injuries and recommend compensation that may be paid to them”.
Other terms of reference are “to determine private properties and security infrastructure destroyed and recommend compensation and/or remedial measures” and “make any recommendations arising out of the evidence, considerations or findings of the Administrative Panel in relation to the matters set out in paragraphs a – c above that the panel considers appropriate”.
Responding on behalf of other members, the panel’s Chairman, Justice Obieze (Rtd.), thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for the confidence he reposed in them and promised that they will discharge their duties creditably and in accordance with the law.