As protests by young people calling for an end to police brutality, extortion and extrajudicial killings continue to rock several of its largest cities, Nigeria’s federal government said on Thursday that it plans to commission a judicial panel to investigate police brutality in the West-African country. The government said that it also plans to launch a special fund to compensate victims of brutality.
The Vice-President’s spokesperson Laolu Akande said the National Executive Council has set up a panel to investigate police brutality in the country and launched a special trust fund to compensate all victims of police brutality.
“Judicial panels of inquiry formed to investigate police brutality in all states and FCT. Council also directs special funds in all states to compensate victims of brutality. States, FCT to form security and human rights committee,” Mr Akande said.
The unprecedent move came amidst continued protests by young Nigerians in many states across the country demanding the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police, which has been accused of several heinous crimes across the country.
While the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force has acceded to some of the protesters demands by disbanding the SARS unit and replacing it with a new unit called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), the protesters have called for wider reforms to ensure that the proposed changes are not cosmetic.
Protesters have continued to mobilize across major cities such as Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory, Kano, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.