Headline Judiciary News Nigeria

Panel on EndSARS to enforce court judgments against police

The Independent Investigative Panel on allegations of human rights violations by the defunct special anti-robbery squad and other Units of the Nigeria Police Force (IIP-SARS) has considered 35 petitions on non-adherence to court judgment by the police.

The panel Secretary Mr. Hillary Ogbonna stated this after its executive session in Abuja.

Mr. Ogbonna said the judgment debts of about ₦452 million were considered on petitions with monetary compensation ranging from the award of the sum of ₦120,000 to ₦135 million.

He said Petitions bothering on extrajudicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and torture, alleged enforced disappearance, confiscation of property were considered.

In a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Hajia Fatima Agwai, the secretary explains that the purpose of the executive session is to fast-track the process of payment of compensations to victims of human rights violations with court judgments that have not been paid by the police.

According to the statement, the executive sessions only deliberated on petitions with judgments from the federal and state high courts with a look at the authenticity of such judgments as well as ensure that no appeal has been made on the petitions before they are considered for payments.

Mr. Ogbonna further said the move was to ensure that judgment debts were paid to entrench the rule of law by giving the victims who have suffered emotional, psychological and physical trauma get their legal entitlements, with a view to forestalling further delay in the dispensation of justice.

Apart from assisting the victims of human rights violations to get their compensation Mr. Ogbonna said the panel had also taken a decision to order the police authority to issue apologies to some of the petitioners who demanded apology as part of their compensation.

This is the second time the panel is considering petitions on judgment debts. The first one was in March 2021, where 20 petitions on judgment debts amounting to the tune of ₦575.8m were considered. Some of them have been paid and others are in the process of being paid.

Reporting by Bose Ijelekhai, editing by Daniel Adejo.