Abuja #EndSARS panel awards N289 million to 74 victims of police brutality
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) panel sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, awarded N287 million in compensation to 74 victims of police brutality.
The federal government set up the panel in November 2020 to investigate human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.
The first batch of N146 million compensation was awarded on December 23, 2021, to 26 persons.
Speaking, the chairman, NHRC governing board, Salamatu Suleiman, congratulated the petitioners for their faith in the human rights mechanism in Nigeria.
“While we look forward to receiving the final report of Justice Galadima’s panel, the commission will work towards putting in place a permanent mechanism.
“We all upon Nigerians to continue to uphold their rights and make good use of the offices of the commission in the 36 states and the FCT to report violations of their rights,” she said.
Similarly, the executive secretary of the commission, Anthony Ojukwu, described the occasion as very significant in many respects.
He said the amount today can not solve all the problems, but it is symbolic.
Also speaking, the panel chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), thanked the panel members.
Similarly, secretary of the panel, Hilary Ogbonna gave the breakdown of the beneficiaries, 25 are for extrajudicial killing, four enforced disappearances, 24 for torture, 16 for prolonged detention and four confiscations of properties.
He said 58 beneficiaries’ demo cheques were ready, while the rest had some issues that needed strengthening.
“The panel handed a total of 297 petitions across Nigeria,” he said.
Mr Ogbonna added, ”We have made decisions in all but two, a lot of the incidents happened without records, and the panel have been diligent.”
One of the recipients, Gaiya Suleiman, expressed his joy and described it as a good development and hope for the commoner.
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