NHRC panel awards N147m compensation to 27 victims of police brutality
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), yesterday, awarded N147million in compensation to 27 victims of police brutality.
The panel is investigating violations of human rights by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.
In his opening speech, Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Anthony Ojukwu, said the #EndSARS event was historic.
“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 begun a journey to restore human dignity,” he said.
Ojukwu, however, submitted that promotion and protection of the rights of Nigerians require the cooperation of all.
Also speaking, the chairman of the 11-member panel and retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Suleiman Galadima, said the Nigerian society is sorry for wrongs done to the victims.
“This is not the comprehensive report. We are putting together the final report. For this bold step, we say a big congratulation to the commission. The monetary compensation is part of the recommendation. We recommended many more compensations,” he said.
The secretary of the panel, Hillary Ogbonna, said the panel received 297 petitions.
“The compensation awarded varies from N500,000 to N15 million. We awarded the ‘Apo Six’ victims N500,000 each. The compensation for the ‘Apo Six’ was in the court judgment.
“We also set up a trust fund of N5 million for a little girl, who was struck by police stray bullets. Seven victims of extra-judicial killing were compensated and five victims of enforced disappearance, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment,” he said.
Others are five victims of illegal arrests and prolonged detention, three victims of confiscation of property, and 20 others who were threatened.