The Lagos State Government has extended by another three months the tenure of the Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and the Lekki Tollgate incident of last October.
The panel’s Chairman Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd) stated this Friday during proceedings.
The Nation reported on Monday that the three months extension was likely to enable the panel conclude its mandate.
The panel, inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on October 27, 2020, has already spent almost nine months, including the first three-month extension it got in March.
This fresh extension means that the panel will now sit until October 19, a day before the anniversary of the October 20, 2020 shootings at the Lekki tollgate.
The panel was set up to last for a period of six months in response to the government acceding to the five-for-five demands of the #EndSARS protesters with a mandate to look into abuses by security agencies and the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the police and to make recommendations to the authorities for restitution to victims of abuses.
The initial six months sitting of the panel expired on April 27, 2021, and the panel was granted a three-month tenure extension which is supposed to expire on Monday, July 19.
But as of June 29, the panel had sat for 97 days and only heard 126 petitions out of the 235 petitions it received.
Since the commencement of the hearing, 37 had been concluded while 109 petitions remained unheard necessitating the request for an extension of time.
At Friday’s sitting, the panel heard 11 petitions. It reserved its decision in six petitions after counsel in the matters adopted their final written addresses.