By Shola Akingboye, 18th March 2021
Described as judgement debt, it was another hope alive as the Independent Investigative Panel on allegations of human rights violations by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other Units of the Nigeria Police Force (IIP-SARS), sitting in Abuja Thursday came up with a resolution to compensate victims of human rights violations who have won legal battle against Police brutality at various court of competense jurisdiction but are yet to be settled by the Nigerian Police.
The chairman of the panel, Rtd Justice Sulaiman Galadima presided over an executive session on petitions relating to enforcement of judicial decisions awards with the purpose of considering such petitions.
The executive session considered 20 out of the 44 petitions on non-adherence by the police to court judgments awarding compensations to victims of human rights violations, and decisions were made on each of the petitions otherwise known as judgment debts.
The petitions on judgment debts of about N575.8million were considered, ranging from the award of the sum of 200million to N120,000 cases bothering on extra-judicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture, alleged enforce disappearance , confiscation of property etc.
However, the cases have been adjourned for final decision, the panel agreed that the victims of human rights who got court judgments should be paid.
On how these monies will be paid the secretary to the panel Mr. Hillary Ogbonna said the police will have to make its commitment to respect court orders while part of the money will be paid from the human rights compensation funds which is expected to be paid for such purposes.
Apart from assisting the victims of human rights violations to get their compensation paid, Mr ogbonna said the panel has also taken a decision to order the police authority to issue apologies to some of the petitioners who have issuance of apology as part of their compensation.