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CSOs to provide legal support to incarcerated #EndSARS protesters

By Joke Falaju (Abuja) and Charles Akpeji (Jalingo) 
26 September 2021   |   4:15 am
Citizens’ Gavel and Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria have offered to provide free legal services to victims incarcerated as a result of the #EndSARS protest.

#EndSARS protest against police brutality in October 2020

Chances Of Petitioners Getting Compensations Remain Gloomy In Taraba 

Citizens’ Gavel and Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria have offered to provide free legal services to victims incarcerated as a result of the #EndSARS protest.

The groups stated that through their networks, they have observed, monitored, and amplified the search for incarcerated protesters and provided prompt legal support for victims as well as relatives of victims arrested during and after the October 2020 nationwide protests. 

They, however, stated that they are willing to provide legal support to as many victims as possible, urging them to reach out to them. 

A statement by the Operations Lead, Citizens’ Gavel, Oluwafemi Ajibade stated: “Almost one year after the nationwide protests, we can authoritatively confirm that there are still #EndSARS protesters incarcerated and languishing in various correctional centres.

“We hereby call on members of the public, friends, or relatives of victims with reliable information about incarcerated protesters to reach out to Citizens’ Gavel or EiE Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, weeks to the final determination of modalities for the implementation of all the reports on police brutality by the National Economic Council (NEC), the fate of petitioners from Taraba State has remained uncertain.

This, as gathered by The Guardian, arose through alleged refusal of the state government to make funds available for the Christopher Awubra-led panel to tidy up their reports for onward transmission to NEC through the state government. 

Some panel members told The Guardian that the Vice President, who chairs the NEC, has directed all state governors to submit the report of the #EndSARS panel before October, because the NEC will undertake final deliberations on the modalities for implementation of all reports by October 2021.

The members said the panel has played its assigned roles, but expressed sadness at the refusal of the state government to provide them with fund to tidy up their reports. 

The panel members complained that throughout the sittings, they were only paid a month allowance and had to source for funds outside their jurisdiction to complete the assignment. 

One of the petitioners’ solicitors, Joseph Simeone, who also expressed dismay at the way the state government is on the verge of frustrating his client, said, “This is particularly worrisome, because most states have submitted theirs, while some have even commenced payment of compensation to the victims.” Efforts to get the state government to speak to the issue failed, as the governor’s aides declined comment.