#EndSARS: Lagos sets up N200m for victims of Police brutality

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Lagos State Government has set up N200m trust fund which will be managed by the panel set up to compensate victims of Police brutality, as no amount of money can make up for this painful experience.

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed at a Press Briefing in Lagos on Thursday, he said a 7 man panel is setup to ensure that all those with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality receive compensation.

The Panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi. Other members are: Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society); Rtd. DIG Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police); Ms Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society).

Mr. Segun Awosanya (Human Rights Activist); Mrs. Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizens Mediation Center); as well as a rep/member of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.

Sanwo-Olu added that his administration has also set up a help desk for the complaints and petitions to the panel. “From next week, you will be able to reach them directly on these dedicated numbers; 0901 051 3203; 3204 and 3205.

“There were express instructions to Police in Lagos to cooperate with protesters and in situations where arrests are unavoidable, there must be full transparency and upholding of their legal rights.

“If there is anyone still in custody, please bring it to my notice. Today’s unfortunate incident of thuggery is being investigated and we will bring to book those behind it”, he ordered.

He noted that actions have taken against officers involved in brutalising protesters. “The Lagos CP has arrested the officers involved in brutalising protesters at the surulere protest venue and an orderly room trial has begun.

The officers are; Inspector Bagou Michael; Inspector Ekpoudom Etop; Sgt Nnamdi Majura and Sgt. Akinyemi Benson. They are facing orderly room trials immediately and be rest assured that we will follow up on these trials”, he said.

He promised that Police well-being and salaries is being addressed at the national level which is a very important conversation. “At the state level, we will continue to provide incentives, a better work environment and tools to assist the police.

Sanwo-Olu called on Nigerian youths to receive government outstretched arms, sheath their powerful swords. “Give us a chance at the Federal and State level to consolidate on these actions being promptly taken to address your concerns.

“Even as we affirm the constitutional rights of all protesters to peacefully make your grievances known, it is also our duty as a government to ensure that the exercise of a set of rights by one group of people does not in any way constrain the rights of any other group of people.

“We are still in a pandemic and as at Wednesday the 14th of October, 2020, Lagos State had recorded a total of 20,394 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 16,734 have recovered in community, 968 are currently active in community, and 207 deaths have sadly occurred”, he said.

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