The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), on Wednesday, awarded N287million in compensation to 74 beneficiaries of police brutality.
The panel is investigating violations of human rights by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.
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The panel was set up by the Federal Government in November 2020 following the “ENDSARS Protest” which was triggered by nationwide allegations of Police brutality.
The first batch of N146million compensation was awarded on December 23, 2021, to 26 people.
Speaking, the chairman of the NHRC governing board, Dr Salamatu Suleiman, congratulated the petitioners for their faith in the human rights mechanisms in Nigeria.
“The commission will continue to exercise its mandate to promote and protect the rights of every Nigerian.
”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 call 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, describe the occasion as very significant in many respects.
“The mandate of the commission is to make sure the rights of all of us are protected.
“We want to elevate the protection of human rights, those whose rights are violated are compensated and the violators recommended for punishment,” he said.
He said the amount today can not solve all the problems but it is symbolic.
Ojukwu urged all not to take laws into their hands because this gesture by the government is an indication that the country is moving forward.
Mr Hilary Ogbonna gave the breakdown of the beneficiaries, saying 25 are for extrajudicial killing, four enforced disappearances, 24 torture, 16 prolonged detention and four confiscations of properties.
He said 58 beneficiaries’ demo cheques are ready while the rest had some issues that needed to be sorted. (NAN)