Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday said the agenda of both the federal and state governments on police reform which includes investigating brutality as well as providing compensation to victims of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other tactical units will be a game-changer in ensuring an end to impunity.
This was made known on Thursday in Abuja when Osinbajo received an American government delegation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, an American government delegation, the Vice President’s spokesman Laolu Akande said in a statement.
The delegation comprised the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Bob Destro; US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Conflict Stabilization Operations, Denise Natali; the Counselor of the US Department of State, Thomas Brechbuhl.
The Charge d’Affairs, US Embassy, Kathleen FitzGibbon and Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, were also at the meeting. According to Osinbajo, no fewer than 13 states including Lagos, have established Judicial Panels “to seek justice and to compensate those whose rights have been breached.”
He said that the President had already supported the decisions of the National Economic Council (NEC) to allow the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra-judicial killings and deliver justice for all victims of SARS and other police units.
At least 13 states have since established Judicial Panels to seek justice and compensate victims whose rights have been breached by the disbanded SARS.
Our holistic Police Reform plan will end impunity.
Together, Nigeria will prevail! pic.twitter.com/tZpjoqFadl
— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 23, 2020
Osinbajo said that NEC also agreed on the provision of monetary compensation to victims and prosecution of erring officers. While responding to the concerns of the US government on instances of impunity in the country, the Vice President noted that the efforts were part of the Nigerian government’s commitment to implement extensive police reforms.
He added that the establishment of Judicial Panels of Inquiry nationwide would further ensure that the Police and other security agencies ensured the protection of human rights of citizens.
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