The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS-related matters has awarded a N7.5m compensation to Petitioner Ndukwe Ekekwe for injuries sustained by SARS officers during investigation , which paralysed him in 2018.
The panel found that officers of the Nigeria Police Force brutalised him. By stabbing him with a knife, hitting his head with a gun and breaking his teeth, facts which it noted weren’t denied by the respondents.
It also frowned at the failure of the Police authorities to charge the Petitioner for the alleged offence of receiving and selling stolen property at his shops at the Alaba international market. Lagos.
According to justice Doris Okuwobi who read the panels decision, the police witness also affirmed during his evidence that torture is a usual technique used by it’s officers during interrogations.
Accordingly, the panel awarded N7.5mto Mr Ndukwe for the inhuman treatment meted out on him, and ordered that the Nigeria Police Force carries out an investigation to find the indicted officers and sanction them accordingly.
But the Petitioner and his mother weren’t satisfied with the amount awarded, saying it was far below the expenses they have borne over the years on the injuries he sustained, which have drained their pockets and crippled his business
His lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje also told TVC news that justice has been served on the matter, though at the first instance, but that they would be taking the matter up further
The Lagos panel also awarded two more petitioners, Andrew Okoh and Isaac Adesina, three million naira each for the grievous bodily damage suffered in gunshots fired by now dismissed police corporal, Nelson Bassey in 2011.
Justice Okuwobi noted that there was no evidence that the Nigeria Police Force gave both men any compensation for the unlawful acts.
The panel recommended that the police body sets up a protocol for the treatment of persons shot by police officers, and urged that police operatives undergo a minimum of two trainings every year on exercising restraints and observance of human rights.
But in the petition of the late Ikwechi Onwugbufor, no award of compensation was given to the family. The panel found that there was no evidence to establish that police officers shot and killed him in 1997.