Thursday, December 8, 2022

#EndSARS: NHRC recommends N266 million compensation to victims

The Nigerian rights office says it has summarily investigated abuses across 13 states and found widespread police brutality.

• October 20, 2020
#EndSARs Protesters
#EndSARs Protesters (Photo Credit: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has requested the payment of ₦265,754,730 to 57 victims of brutality by the outlawed special anti-robbery squad. 

The NHRC presidential investigation panel said it has concluded its investigation across 13 states in the country with reported cases of human rights violations by the police unit. 

It is unclear how the panel which was only inaugurated on October 16 was able to perform a thorough investigation against atrocities of rogue officers of the police unit and the mode adopted to receive petitions from the general public. 

The body was also silent on how it arrived at the amount it quoted for 57 victims across the country. It was unclear whether additional compensations would still be recommended. 

A spokesman for the rights office did not immediately answer calls seeking comments Tuesday evening.

The panel which was chaired by NHRC chief Tony Ojukwu presented the report to attorney-general Abubakar Malami on Tuesday.

The recommendations of the panel include the prosecution of 33 SARS officers, 26 cases for further investigation and 32 cases recommended for public apology.

The NHRC was criticised on Thursday for not having the power to constitute an investigative panel on human rights abuses. 

Nigerians have been mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to constitute the governing council of the human rights agency, because a vacuum makes it impossible for the agency to function independently and appropriately. 

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