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 defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.
In his opening speech, the executive secretary of the commission, Mr Anthony Ojukwu (SAN), 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 rights of Nigerians required the cooperation of all.
This he added included the executive, legislature, judiciary arms of government, civil society organisations, business community.
Also speaking, the chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), commended the NHRC for its efforts at ensuring that the rights of Nigerians are protected.
“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.
“The monetary compensation is part of the recommendations. We recommended many more compensation,” he said.
The secretary of the panel, Hillary Ognonna, said the panel received 297 petitions.
“The compensation awarded varies from N500,000 to N15 million. We awarded the victims of the APO six, N500,000 each. The compensation for the APO six was in the court judgement.
“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 illegal arrests and prolonged detention and three victims of confiscation of property and 20 others who were threatened.