The independent panel investigating allegations of human rights violations by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)and other units of the Nigeria police has approved compensations worth N578 million to victims of human rights violations.
Sulaiman Galadima, chairman of the panel, said this on Thursday while presiding over an executive session on petitions relating to the enforcement of judicial decisions /awards for cases that had not been honoured by the Nigerian police force.
During the session, the panel considered 20 out of the 44 petitions with court judgments awarding compensations to victims of human rights violations,but which were yet to be honoured by the police.
Decisions were made on each of the petitions otherwise known as judgment debts.
The petitions on judgment debts totalling about N575.8million were considered ranging from the award of the sum of N200million to N120,000 to victims whose cases bothered on extrajudicial killings, unlawful arrests and detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments and torture, alleged enforced disappearance, confiscation of property, among others.
While the respective cases have been adjourned for final decisions, the panel members agreed that the victims of human rights who got court judgments should be paid.
On how the victims would be paid, Hillary Ogbonna, secretary to the panel, said the police would have to make its commitment to respect court orders while part of the money would be paid from the Human Rights Compensation Funds of the National Human Rights Commission.
Ogbonna said the panel had also decided that apart from paying the compensation to the victims, it would also order the police authority to issue apologies to some of the petitioners who had the issuance of apology as part of their court judgements.