The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, investigating violations of human rights by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units, has compensated 27 victims of police brutality with the sum of N147 million.
This was disclosed by Anthony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the Commission.
Ojukwu also assured of the commission’s commitment in its drive towards impunity.
Imploring the cooperation of all-the executive, legislative, judiciary arms of government, civil society organisations, business communities- to join the course of protecting and promoting the rights of Nigerians.
Ojukwu said, “By compensating the victims, NHRC is out to change the narrative of impunity. The commission is ready to provide a remedy where Nigerians’ rights are violated. Where there is a violation, there must be a remedy, the commission has begun a journey to restore human dignity.”
Justice Suleiman Galadima, the chairman of the panel, commended the NHRC for its efforts at ensuring that the rights of Nigerians are protected. He however noted, “This is not the comprehensive report, we are putting together the final report. For this bold step, we say a big congratulations to the commission.
He added, “The monetary compensation is the part of the recommendation. We recommended much more compensation.”
Hillary Ognonna, the Secretary of the panel hinted that the panel received 297 petitions. According to him, “The compensation awarded varied from N500,000 to N15 million. We awarded the victims of the APO six, N500,000 each.
“The compensation for the APO six was 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 extrajudicial killing were compensated and five victims of enforced disappearance, torture inhuman and degrading treatment.”