The Lagos State Judicial Panel on restitution for victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) related abuses has awarded the sum of ₦13.5m to three victims of police brutality across the state.
Among the three victims was a 34-year-old trader, Ndukwe Ekekwe, who was awarded the sum of ₦7.5m for the harrowing ordeal meted on him by law enforcement officers of the disbanded SARS.
The two other petitioners, Andrew Okoh and Isaac Adeshina, who both suffered grievous body harm after they were shot in the leg by a police officer were compensated with the sum of ₦3m each.
Ekekwe, who had shops at Alaba International Market, where he sold accessories and other general items, had told the panel that he was arrested on February 16, 2018, for crimes he did not commit nor was aware of.
He also told the panel that he “was tortured, brutalised and thrown down the two-storey building of the shopping complex which housed his shops.
In reaching its decision on his petition, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd) held that there was a clear violation of his fundamental rights as guaranteed under Section 34 of the constitution.
The panel also recommended that the police investigate and fish out its officers who brutalised Ekekwe with a view to sanctioning them accordingly.
In his immediate reaction, Ekekwe expressed displeasure with the amount awarded by the panel. He and his mother who had been taking care of him since the incident happened lamented that they had spent over N30m at the hospitals and wondered what they would do with the “mere ₦7.5m awarded by the panel”.