Lagos Panel Awards ₦13.5m Compensation To Three Victims Of Police Brutality

Justice Doris Okuwobi and other members of the Lagos Judicial panel during a sitting on April 30, 2021.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on restitution for victims of SARS-related abuses has awarded the sum of ₦13.5m to 3 victims of police brutality.

A 34-year-old trader, Ndukwe Ekekwe was awarded the sum of ₦7.5m for the harrowing ordeal meted on him by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Ekekwe, who had shops at Alaba International Market where he sold accessories and other general items, had told the panel that he was arrested on February 16, 2018, for crimes he did not commit.

He also told the panel that he “was tortured, brutalised and thrown down the two-storey building of the shopping complex which housed his shops.

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In reaching its decision on his petition, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi held that there was a clear violation of his fundamental rights as guaranteed under Section 34 of the constitution.

The panel also recommended that the police investigate and fish out its officers who brutalised Ekekwe with a view to sanctioning them accordingly.

In his immediate reaction, Ekekwe expressed displeasure with the amount awarded by the panel. He and his mother who had been taking care of him since the incident happened lamented that they had spent over N30m at the hospitals and wondered what they would do with the “mere ₦7.5m awarded by the panel”.

Two other petitioners, Andrew Okoh and Isaac Adeshina who suffered grievous body harm after they were shot in the leg by a police officer were compensated with the sum of ₦3m each.

Ex-Finance Minister Usman Demands ₦5bn Compensation For Niece’s Killing

File photo: Ex-finance Minister, Nenadi Usman

 

A former Minister of Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman on Monday asked for ₦5 billion from the police over the killing of her niece in October 2018.

Usman, who is a joint petitioner in the case of alleged extra-judicial killing, told the National Human Rights Commission Independent Investigative Panel that her niece was murdered extra-judicially by a police officer in the Katampe area of Abuja.

Lawyer to the police, James Idachaba, however, argued that the police have played its part by dismissing the said officer and ensuring his eventual conviction by an Abuja High Court which sentenced him to sixteen years imprisonment.

Another petitioner also told the panel how he paid ₦2 million to secure his freedom after the police allegedly withdrew ₦1.4 million while he was in detention.

After listening to the petitions, the panel adjourned the hearing of the petition by the ex-minister indefinitely.