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UWAIFO HEADS OSUN'S RECONCILIATION PANEL

By NBF News
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GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to look into all cases of human rights abuses and public discontent in the state from June 2003 till date.

A statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Governor's Office, Semiu Okanlawon, yesterday said the TRC was inaugurated under Section 2(1) of the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap 29 Laws of Osun State 2002.

The commission, which has one month to complete its assignment, would begin sitting on February 15 and submit its report on or before March 30, 2011.

On the eight-man commission are Justice Samson Odemwingie Uwaifo, chairman; Mr. Nurudeen Ogbara, secretary; Yunus Ustaz-Usman (SAN); Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa; Mrs. Funmi Falana; Hakeem Yusuff; Bamidele Aturu and Wahid Lawal.

The statement added that the commission would also facilitate redress, promote reconciliation and prevent possible future re-occurrence of rights abuses in the state.

Its terms of reference are:
• to search for and identify in full the nature of the discontent in Osun State;

• to identify the grievances and the remote and immediate causes, which have given rise to and resulted in the acts of gross violation of human rights, as well as attacks on persons and property in the state;

• to identify the person or persons, authorities, institutions or organisations, which may be held accountable for such gross violations of human rights and determine the motives for the violations or abuses, the victims and circumstances thereof and the effect on such victims and the society generally of the atrocities;

• to determine whether such abuses or violations were the product of deliberate state policy or the policy of any of its organs or institutions or whether they arose from abuses by state officials of their office or whether they were acts of any political organisations, liberation movements or other group or individuals;

• to examine in detail the extent of the damage that has been done to the people and projects and also the degree of damage to peace and concord in the state;

• to examine and advise on the ways and means of bringing peace, amity and concord among all concerned;

• to advise upon a mechanism by which such reconciliation could be maintained and retained as a permanent feature in the state;

• to make any other findings and/recommendations which the commission may consider necessary;

• to receive any legitimate financial or other assistance from whatever source which may aid and facilitate the realisation of its objectives; and

• to recommend measures which may be taken whether judicial, administrative, legislative or institutional to redress injustices of the past and prevent or forestall future violations or abuses of human rights.

The commission is expected to hold its public hearings at the premises of the High Court of Osun State, Osogbo, or any other suitable place.

According to the statement, members of the public are to forward concise written memoranda of six-page maximum to the commission.

The signed 'memoranda are expected to set forth fact and/or substantiated opinion and suggest measures for possible redress and prevention of re-occurrence'.

The document is expected to reach the commission latest by Wednesday, February 23, 2011, or e-mailed to [email protected]