The Anambra State panel investigating police brutality following the #EndSARS protest headed by retired Justice Veronica Ume, has recommended between N5million and N10million as compensation to the families of dead victims.
The panel who submitted its report to Governor Willie Obiano on Tuesday, at the Government House, Awka, also recommended that victims with permanent deformities should be paid between N1million and N3million, depending on the extent of their injuries, while those with minor injuries should receive between N400,000 and N1million.
Justice Ume, while presenting the report to the Secretary to the State Government, Solo Chukwudebelu, who stood in for Obiano, said N699.5million was recommended for 170 petitioners, while 130 petitions were discharged based because they were outside the terms of reference of the panel or there were pending cases in court.
She said, “All #EndSARS policemen found culpable will be prosecuted even as all officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force will be going on annual psychological examination.
“Policemen, who refuse to obey their seniors, should be punished and confiscated properties of #EndSARS victims should be released to the victims.”
Forensic examination of the Awkuzu and Nnewi #EndSARS offices, where extrajudicial killings took place, and the policemen involved in the killings be prosecuted was also recommended by the panel.
While responding, Chukwudebelu said, “We will study the report and make necessary recommendations. Rest assured that the incoming government will work with the outgoing government.
“I commend the panel chairman, members and the youth for a successful work done; the Federal Government is interested in the outcome of the panel’s report.
“It will not be the government that sets up the panel that will implement the recommendations, but rest assured that the incoming government will work with the outgoing one to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.”
However, a member of the panel and the Anglican Bishop, Diocese of Niger West, Rev J. N. Ekwe, in his vote of thanks, commended all who contributed to the success of the panel and stressed the need for the implementation of the recommendation to serve as a deterrent to future offenders.
Another member of the panel and the state Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation, Vincent Ezekwueme, said, “The defunct SARS maimed, assaulted, extorted, killed, kidnapped and caused severe fear on innocent Nigerians in the name of fighting crimes and criminality.
“They committed the worst atrocities ever and got away with them as their superiors failed to check them.
“What we heard from the petitioners were mostly chilling tales one could never have thought of; agony and bloody tales of slaughter and disappearance of suspects in police custody.
“A lot of the petitioners lost their parents, brothers, friends, relations, neighbours and sisters to these men in very mysterious circumstances.”
The submission of the report comes two days before the inauguration of the incoming governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo.