The Federal Government, yesterday, got report of the Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violation by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other Units of the Nigeria Police Force (IIP-SARS) raised two years ago.
Presenting the report, the chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), said on two occasions, the panel awarded compensations to some victims in view of the mood and anxiety of the petitioners.
He urged the National Economic Council (NEC), which ordered the establishment of the panel, to ensure implementation of its report.
Receiving the document on behalf of the Federal Government, Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu (SAN), noted that compensation payment was just one step on the road to justice.
He said: “There is still the need to hold indicted officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) accountable for these violations. In this regard, I welcome the decisions and indictments issued by the Justice Galadima panel and I want to assure Nigerians and the victims and their families that NHRC will do everything possible to ensure that the decisions are implemented.
“We will study these recommendations and work with the NPF, relevant committees in the National Assembly, civil society and development partners to implement these reforms.”
Highlights of the report, according to the panel secretary, Hillary Ogbonna, were that a total of 295 petitions were received, 95 decided and 33 struck out.
He added that 54 complaints were withdrawn, 57 referred to NHRC, while 56 others were judgment petitions. On police indictment, 72 police officers were found wanting in various human rights infractions. While 25 officers were recommended for dismissals, 15 others are to suffer reduction in ranks.
A fact sheet released by the commission indicated that 39 petitioners of extra-judicial killings got N220 million compensation, among others.
The record also showed that the total 295 petitions were received from 29 states. Delta, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Anambra, Benue, Imo and Rivers were among the 10 states with the highest number of petitions.
Others are Enugu, Kaduna, Oyo and Cross River.