The National Economic Council (NEC) said on Friday the Federal Government and states would set up modalities for the settlement of compensations awarded to victims of police brutality in the country.
The NEC, according to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, stated this at a meeting held on Friday in Abuja.
The council, which is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, comprises the governors and representatives of the federal government.
The council stressed that all officers indicted by the judicial panels of inquiry set up by the state governments to probe allegations of police brutality would be prosecuted.
The federal government had directed states to set up judicial panels of inquiry to probe allegations of rights violations by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police personnel following the #EndSARS protests that rocked many parts of the country in October last year.
The statement read: “It may be recalled that following the October 2020 #ENDSARS protests, in furtherance of resolution of NEC, 28 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had set up Judicial Panels/Commissions of Inquiry to investigate allegations of violations of human rights levied against members of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies, especially members of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“The 28 States that set up these panels were Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba.
“Out of the 28 States, 11 States (Abia, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, and Rivers) have submitted their final reports to Council; with Lagos, set to finalise its sittings on 19th October 2021, submitting an interim report. Governors of other States including Delta and Ebonyi at today’s meeting also indicated that their reports would be submitted soon.
“Following deliberations on the recommendations of the panels, NEC agreed/resolved as follows, (and this applies to all the States and FCT that set up the panels):
“Each State, in collaboration with the Federal Government, shall establish modalities for the settlement of all monetary compensations awarded by the Panels. Already, as resolved by NEC, a number of states have set up Victims Compensation Funds, from which several victims have already received payments of sums awarded to them by the panels.
“Council directed State Governors to immediately forward copies of final reports of the panels to their Attorneys-General for prompt arraignment and prosecution of all indicted persons.
“Where incidents in the reports relate to matters of discipline, in addition to prosecution, NEC urged the Nigeria Police Force to take disciplinary action on the affected officers in line with the provisions of the Police Act 2020.