Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said the plan by both the Federal and State Governments to investigate police brutality and prosecute erring police officers, create new State-based Security and Human Rights Committees, as well as providing compensation to victims of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units, would be a game-changer in ensuring an end to impunity.
He said this during an audience with an American government delegation including the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Bob Destro; US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Conflict Stabilization Operations, Denise Natali; the Counselor of the US Department of State, Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl; and the Charge d’Affairs, US Embassy, Kathleen FitzGibbon at the presidential villa on Thursday.
The meeting also had the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama in attendance.
According to a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Vice President, said at least 13 states in the country including Lagos, have since established Judicial Panels “to seek justice and to compensate those whose rights have been breached.”
He also disclosed that the President has already supported the decisions of the National Economic Council.
According to Osinbajo, the National Economic Council (NEC) of October 12th, resolved on the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry across the country to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra-judicial killings to deliver justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units.
He added that the council which he chairs with all State Governors and FCT Minister as members, also agreed on the provision of monetary compensation to victims and prosecution of erring officers.