The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for SARS-related abuses and other matters yesterday awarded N19,250,000.00 as compensation to six victims of police brutality.
The recipients are Akinmade Akinrolabu (N1.5 million), Sanusi Oluwakemi (N750,000), Patrick Michael (N3 million), Ayomide Oyewunmi (N1 million), Adeshina Adeosun (N10 million), and Oluwatosin Odebode (N3 million).
The award came on the heels of another N10million Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave as compensation to the families of two operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) who died in the cause of duties.
Chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd) presented the cheques to the victims or their families.
The family of Adeshina Adeosun, a taxi driver, had appeared before the panel to narrate how police officers attached to Olosan Police Station in Mushin axis of the state shot him, following which he died.
The family alleged that the deceased was shot at Fan Milk junction, around Mushin axis of Lagos, on October 20, 2020, during the #EndSARS protest.
Ayomide Oyewunmi, 14, got N1million following the trauma he suffered while being handcuffed by some police officers attached to the Ajah area of the state.
His father, Taiwo Oyewunmi, had told the panel that the police officers invaded his residence and handcuffed his son.
Oyewunmi said that it took the intervention of the station’s DCO and instruction from the “higher authority not to detain the minor in the cell” adding that his son was traumatised following the incident.
His father had in May on his behalf demanded financial compensation of N25 million.
The panel ruled that the 14-year-old was subjected to fear and exposed to danger and is entitled to compensation and apology from the police.
Also, a relative of the late Adeshina Adeosun received N10 million compensation on behalf of their family.
His daughter, Funmilayo, who witnessed how her father was fatally shot by the Police, told the panel in February that his body was also seized by the Police attached to the Olosan station in Mushin.
Mrs Okwuobi ordered the Lagos Police to provide the deceased’s remains for burial.
She advised that the Nigerian police officers be trained on how to handle a crowd and a riotous situation.
The panel was set up by the Lagos government in the wake of the #EndSARS protest in October 2020, to probe cases of police brutality in the state.
It was provided with a N200million kitty.
Meanwhile, Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Media Director, Mr Taofiq Adebayo, revealed yesterday that Governor Sanwo-Olu compensated the families of two operatives who died in the cause of duties.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Adebayo said the governor was fulfilling his pledge to always give wholesome support to the security agencies in the state.
He explained that the governor was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Gboyega Soyannwo, who presented the two cheques to the affected families at Government House, Alausa-Ikeja.
He said the two families were that of the late SPY/PC Omale Job and SPY/PC Adeniran Adekunle.
The director said that Mrs Tosin Adeniran and Master Ayomide Adeniran represented the late SPY/PC Adeniran Adekunle, while Mrs Juliana Omale and Master David Omale represented the late SPY/PV Omale Job.
He said the governor described the monetary support as a token, maintaining that, no amount of financial gift could make up for the lost lives and the gallantry of the fallen patriots.
Adebayo said that Master David Omale, son of one of the late officers expressed thanks to Sanwo-Olu for the gesture.
In Edo State, one of the notorious escapees from Oko Medium Correctional Centre on Airport Road, Benin, during the October 19 2020 #EndSARS protest, Chinedu Ogu, has been apprehended and returned to the Maximum Correctional Centre on Sapele Road, Benin, popularly called White House.
Ogu was nabbed by officials of the Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV) in Edo, headed Mukhtar Yusuf-Osagie, and other security agencies in the state.
The escapee, who was at the correctional centre for murder, was among the 1,993 inmates who took off from the Oko and Sapele facilities.
Edo coordinator of PUWOV said: “The fugitive (Ogu) was apprehended in Benin and returned to custody by the Nigeria Correctional Service, Sapele Road.”
Reaffirming the scheme’s resolve to restore sanity and discipline in public places in Edo, Yusuf-Osagie noted that PUWOV had been working assiduously with other security agencies, in order to eradicate crime and ensure a lasting peace in the state.
He said: “Officials of PUWOV accosted a commercial motorist, who contravened the law, and in a bid to resist arrest and incite passersby against the officials, he went nude at the scene of offence. He passed out faeces and used the faeces to bathe the PUWOV officials at the scene.
“Luckily, the PUWOV officials apprehended him and in the process, it was discovered that he is a fugitive. The PUWOV officials informed the police and handed him over to Oba Market Police Division where further investigations by the police and the Nigeria Correctional Service revealed his name to be Chinedu Ogu, a fugitive, charged for murder, but escaped during the #EndSARS protests of October 19, 2020.”
Edo coordinator of PUWOV also urged Nigerian youths to shun crime and cultism, in order to make useful contributions to society development.