The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)-related abuses and other matters has awarded a total sum of N16,250,000 to four victims of police brutality.
The Panel Chairman, Justice Doris Okuwobi Esq, handed the cheques to the petitioners, including three women Tolulope Openiyi, Felicia Opara, and Blessing Esanbor, and a man, Tella Adesanya.
It followed the panel’s rulings in six petitions, four of which were held to be proven against the police.
The remaining two were unsuccessful.
The panel awarded Openiyi N10 million, Esanbor N5 million, Opara N750,000, and Adesanya N500,000.
The first petitioner Felicia Opara, was the woman captured in a viral video on October 12, 2020, being assaulted by police officers in the Ojuelegba area of Lagos.
The panel observed, among others, that the police seemed to have a problem with impunity and violence, adding that there is sometimes an inability of the authorities to bring perpetrators of torture to book.
It recommended that the police should apologise to Opara and awarded her N750,000.
The second petitioner, Tolulope Openiyi was compensated with the sum of N10m.
The panel found that she successfully proved that her husband, Olusegun was shot dead in August 2017, by a police officer, Jide Akinola, attached to the Sabo, Yaba police station.
It held that the police failed to contravene her testimony that her husband was shot at a police checkpoint.
The panel also found that although the police arrested the erring officer, his investigation was not properly conducted as he was later released.
It recommended the prosecution of the officer and a scholarship for one child of the victim.