National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has received reports from 16 out of 29 states on #EndSARS panels.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the panels were set up to investigate violations of human rights by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units.
NAN reports further that the panel was set up by the Federal Government in November 2020 under former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, following nationwide protests.
Executive Secretary of NHRC, Anthony Ojukwu, disclosed this in Abuja at an event to mark three years of the #EndSARS protests and submission of a report by Enough is Enough (EIE), a non-governmental organisation.
Ojukwu commended EIE for coming up with a review of the protest and presenting a report. He recalled that compensation of over N530 million was given to victims or families of victims.
He said: “It is a very important step taken by EIE, which is to commemorate the 2020 #EndSARS protest. It is one of the efforts to keep #EndSARS alive. About 29 states set up panels and NHRC automatically was made a member. A panel was also set up in Abuja as an independent investigation body by the commission.
“Today, EIE has taken a giant step towards compiling this report. The effort gears towards police reforms and I urge the states that have not submitted their reports to do so. Sixteen states have submitted theirs, and when the remaining do the same, the commission will do a comprehensive review and report.”
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chino Obiagwu, said: “There were petitions, over 6,000, mainly from the poor, calling for justice. These later suppressed or withdrew their petitions for fear of reprisals from the police.
“There were no lessons from the #EndSARS protest. The Nigerian Police have been emboldened, because they were not called to order. It made citizens lose the essence of the protest. None of the police indicted was prosecuted.”
He said inquiries should be held on human rights abuse by the police and that all indicted officers should be punished.
Obiagwu added: “Speaking of judgment debts against the government, the money should be taken from the budget of the department that caused the problem, so that people involved can feel the liability.
“There should be a revamp of the syllabus in police training schools. The Police Service Commission, the Inspector General of Police and NHRC should engage officers frequently with training on best practices.”