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Women list questions #EndSARS judicial panels must answer

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
31 December 2020   |   4:16 am
Over 150 Nigerian women, under the aegis of Mothers United and Mobilised (MUM), have petitioned the United Nations (UN), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Senate and the House of Representatives...

The convener, Mothers United and Mobilised (MUM), Dr. Boluwaji Onabolu (right); and a member, Mrs. Fatima Mohammed-Koro, taking the group’s petition on brutality against innocent Nigerians to the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: NAN

• Demand transparency in findings
•Seek probe of alleged killings by soldiers

Over 150 Nigerian women, under the aegis of Mothers United and Mobilised (MUM), have petitioned the United Nations (UN), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Senate and the House of Representatives, demanding transparency in the findings by the judicial panels set up to probe police brutality in the country.

Also petitioned are the UNICEF, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and UN Women.

The convener of MUM, Dr. Boluwaji Onabolu, during a media briefing yesterday in Abuja where she reeled out the petitions signed by the Nigerian mothers, specifically demanded that findings by the national and state judicial panels of enquiry must provide answers to questions asked by Nigerians: who ordered the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate; who carried out the order; how will those found guilty be held accountable and how will redress be made possible?

The mothers also demanded that the findings must be made public and the implementation transparent.

They urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately halt the freezing of bank accounts of #EndSARS protesters, and for the governments to stop the unlawful detention of the protesters and their supporters.

MUM further demanded that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, should follow established international military protocol by investigating and punishing erring soldiers and their commanding officers involved in the shooting of the protesters.

The mothers declared support for the Nigerian youths, especially those that protested against ending police brutality and the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS).

While applauding the Presidency and the state governments for setting up the panels to investigate allegations of police brutality, MUM said that the probe should not end up like others conducted by the government the recommendations of which were never implemented.

“What we are saying is that this measures should not stop at fact finding, but must facilitate dialogue, ensure accountability and redress,” the mothers said.

The group called on the judicial panels to release their findings and implement them with the involvement of the civil society at all stages, adding that more visible steps should be taken towards police reform to stop the continuous human right violation that led to the #EndSARS protest “which has not stopped.”

The convener also stressed the need for redress for the numerous victims of the protests, including the police and innocent bystanders

MUM had donated N100,000 to the widow of Rasheed Kareem, a 42-year old car dealer who was hit by a stray bullet at Surulere, Lagos State during the protests.

According to the mothers, people do not have to die during protests as youths must have a voice to demand for their rights from government.

They stressed the need to stop police brutality of innocent citizens.