#EndSARS: Human Rights Commission Awards N147m Compensation To 27 Victims Of Police Brutality
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has awarded N147 million as compensation to 27 victims of police brutality.
Following the #EndSARS protest in 2020, the federal government had directed states — including the FCT — to set up a panel to probe the allegations against the now disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) as well as other issues of police brutality in the country.
Speaking on Thursday at NHRC headquarters in Abuja, Anthony Ojukwu, executive secretary of the commission, said the #EndSARS event was historic since many people did not think victims could be heard.
By compensating the victims, NHRC is out to change the narrative of impunity. The commission is ready to provide remedy where Nigerians’ rights are violated. Where there is violation, there must be remedy. The commission has began a journey to restore human dignity.
Ojukwu, however, said protection of rights of Nigerians requires the cooperation of the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government, as well as civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
Suleiman Galadima, chairman of the panel, who noted that the final report is still being put together, praised the NHRC for its efforts.
The former supreme court justice encouraged state governments to implement the reports of their various panels, and urged the federal government to implement the recommendations.
This is not the comprehensive report. We are putting together the final report. For this bold step, we say a big congratulations to the commission.
On his part, Hillary Ogbonna, secretary of the panel, said 297 petitions were submitted, stressing;
The compensation awarded varies from N500,000 to N15 million. We awarded the victims of the APO six, N500,000 each. The compensation for the APO six was the in the court judgment.
We also set up a trust fund of N5 million for a girl who was struck by police stray bullets.
Seven victims of extra-judicial killing were compensated as well as five victims of enforced disappearance, torture inhuman and degrading treatment.
Other who received compensation included victims of illegal arrest, prolonged detention, and confiscation of property.