End SARS Saga: NEC drafts out resolutions



The 108th meeting of the National Economic Council (8th in 2020) held today, Tuesday October 15, 2020 under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Following extensive deliberations on the ongoing ENDSARS protests in some States of the Federation, it was resolved as follows –

1. Interaction with Protesters

In consultation with relevant Federal Agencies, State Governors shall take charge of interactions with the ENDSARS protesters and, as much as possible, address their legitimate concerns.

2. Establishment of a Judicial Panel of Investigation 

Each State Government shall set up an 8-person Judicial Panel of Investigation, comprising –
A Retired High Court Judge, as Chairperson;
Two representatives of Civil Society groups;
One Retired Police Officer of high repute;
One Youth Representative;
One Student Leader;
One representative of the National Human Rights Commission; and
One representative of the State Attorney-General, as Secretary.

In case of a tie in the process of decision-making, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

The Panel is to -
(i) receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality, human rights violation or related extra judicial killings;
(ii) evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and
(iii) recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.
The Panel’s assignment shall be concluded within a period of six (6) months, unless it shows convincing reasons why the State Governor should allow an extension.

3. Victims’ Support Fund

To enable payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims, each State Government shall set up a Victims’ Support Fund.
4. Special Security and Human Rights Committee 

In order to ensure that the activities of any special or tactical unit which may be established by the Nigeria Police is well monitored and any excesses in their operations promptly apprehended, it was also decided that each State Government shall set up a Special Security and Human Rights Committee, comprising –
(i) The Governor of the State as Chairman;
(ii) Heads of the security agencies in the State;
(iii) Head of any special tactical unit of the Police in the State charged with fighting armed robbery and other violent crimes;
(iv) A representative of Youths; and
(v) Two representatives of Civil Society. 

It shall be the duty of the Special Committee and its officers to –
(i) ensure the protection of the rights of citizens in the functioning of any special tactical unit of the Police, law enforcement officers and other security personnel;
(ii) monitor the prosecution of any officer indicted by the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) or any other investigation process carried out in relation to the Squad;
(iii) mainstream human rights into the activities and operations of all law enforcement agencies; 
(iv) entertain complaints of human rights violations; 
(v) liaise with the leadership of the Police and other security agencies for resolution or redress of such complaints; and
(vi) guide the complainants towards the realization of their rights.

5. Human Rights Complaints Office

To facilitate easy access of complainants to prompt attention and assistance, the Special Security and Human Rights Committee shall establish a Human Rights Complaints Office with an Ombudsman and two other members, one of whom shall be an officer of the National Human Rights Commission in the State, to whom and complainants of human rights violation by law enforcement agencies can relate in person, in writing, by telephone or by social media channels. 
The Office shall give regular reports with recommendations to the Special Security and Human Rights Committee for action.

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