Human Rights panel orders Police to pay N575.8m to victims of SARS brutality

The panel investigating alleged human rights violations committed by police personnel has entered judgment in the sum of N575.8 million against the police.

National Human Rights Commission's panel sitting in Abuja. [Twitter/]

Mrs Fatimah Mohammed, the deputy director public affairs in the NHRC, in a statement on Friday, said that the panel led by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Suleiman Galadima, considered 20 of the petitions at its executive session on Thursday.

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 N575.8 million were considered ranging from the award of N200 million to ₦120,000 of cases bordering on extra-judicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention.

”Others are cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture, alleged enforced disappearance , confiscation of property etc,” the commission said.

The NHRC 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, Hilary 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, 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.

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