The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said on Thursday that 44 of the petitions received by its panel investigating acts of police brutality centred on judgment debts incurred by the police as a result of rights violations.
A statement shared with PREMIUM TIMES by the information unit of the commission said the panel led by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Suleiman Galadima, considered 20 of the petitions at its executive session on Thursday.
According to the statement, a total of N575.8 million were awarded against the police in the judgments referenced by the petitions considered by the panel at Thursday’s proceedings.
It stated, “The executive session considered 20 out of the 44 petitions on non-adherence by the police of court judgments awarding compensations to victims of human rights violations, and decisions were made on each of the petitions otherwise known as judgment debts.
“The petitions on judgment debts of about N575.8million were considered ranging from the award of the sum of N200 million to ₦120,000 of cases bordering on extra-judicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture, alleged enforce disappearance , confiscation of property etc.”
The statement said the panel “agreed that the victims of human rights who got court judgments should be paid.”
On how the judgment debts would be paid, the secretary to the panel, Hillary Ogbonna, said the police would have to make a “commitment to respect court orders while part of the money will be paid from the human rights compensation funds which are expected to be paid for such purposes.”
“Apart from assisting the victims of human rights violations to get their compensation paid, Mr Ogbonna said the panel has also taken a decision to order the police authority to issue apologies to some of the petitioners who have issuance of apology as part of their compensation,” the statement added.
The Independent Investigative Panel was set up by the NHRC last year, following last year’s #EndSARS protests demanding end to police brutality and rights violation perpetrated by the men of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Suspect (SARS) and other police units.
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