By Izuchukwu Okosi
Following the conclusion of the judicial panel of inquiry reports in the aftermath of the 2020 Endsars protests across the country, the Nigerian government have outlined its mission to provide a better military service and ensure justice and equity for aggrieved parties.
Making this known on Wednesday in an elaborate press briefing as Nigerians mark the first anniversary of the Endsars protests, Information Minister Lai Mohammed revealed that state governors and representatives of the federal government as represented by vice president, Professor Yomi Osibanjo have addressed all issues relating to the protests.
Mohammed who has not won over the teeming fans of the Endsars protests however revealed that some state governments have not turned in their reports.
“The National Economic Council (NEC), which comprises all State Governors and representatives of the Federal Government, and chaired by the Vice President, has already addressed other issues relating to the EndSARS protest,” Mohammed told the media.
“At its meeting on 15 October 2021, the NEC received an update on the Reports of Judicial Panels of Inquiry into Allegations of Human Rights Violations against Members of Nigeria Police Force and other Security Agencies.
“Note that 28 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – under the auspices of the National Human Rights Commission – had set up Judicial Panels/Commissions of Inquiry to investigate allegations of violations of human rights levied against members of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies, especially members of the disbanded SARS,” the onetime boss of the Afromedia Group stressed.
Mohammed confirmed that 11 states out of 28 have submitted their final reports to the Council.
“Out of the 28 States, 11 States (Abia, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, and Rivers) have submitted their final reports to Council.
“Governors of other States have also indicated that their reports would be submitted soon. Following deliberations on the recommendations of the panels, NEC agreed/resolved as follows:
“Each State, in collaboration with the Federal Government, shall establish modalities for the settlement of all monetary compensations awarded by the Panels. Already, as resolved by NEC, a number of States have set up Victims Compensation Funds, from which several victims have already received payments of sums awarded to them by the panels.
The crux of the Endsars protests was against the harsh treatment meted to harmless citizens by the police force and indicted officers of the force are consequently expected to be penalised.
“Council directed State Governors to immediately forward copies of final reports of the panels to their Attorneys-General for prompt arraignment and prosecution of all indicted persons. Where incidents in the reports relate to matters of discipline, in addition to prosecution, NEC urged the Nigeria Police Force to take disciplinary action on the affected officers in line with the provisions of the Police Act 2020.
Improved efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force and other other security agencies’ architecture; the need for peaceful demonstrations, and the payment of compensations to the victims both civilians and military personnels were the other salient points noted by the minister.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.