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Presidency assures justice for victims of police brutality

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The Presidency on Wednesday assured Nigerians that it is committed to supporting state governments to ensure justice for all victims of police brutality in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

In the statement titled: ‘President Buhari welcomes the establishment of judicial panels of inquiry by 13 states to deliver justice for victims of police brutality’, Adesina said the Buhari administration is also committed to ensuring the implementation of the reforms that the #EndSARS protesters demanded.

Enumerating the various steps taken by the Buhari administration to address the concerns of the #EndSARS protesters,

“Under the Chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Economic Council at its meeting on Thursday October 15, 2020 resolved to establish state-level Judicial Panels of Inquiry, to investigate allegations of Police brutality and ensure that all erring personnel are brought to justice.

“Prior to that, the President in June 2019 signed a Bill establishing the Police Trust Fund, to mobilize additional funding for the welfare and equipping of the Nigeria Police Force. Accrual of funding into the Fund, as specified in its enabling Act, has commenced

“President Buhari in 2018 approved an increase in police salaries and the police personnel budget has seen a rise from N288bn in the 2018 Budget to N417bn in the proposed 2021 budget; an increase of 45 per cent.

“Only on Tuesday, at the commissioning of the Nigerian Police Pension Fund Limited building, the President also reiterated continuous support for both serving and retired police personnel.

“The President has equally approved the rollout and funding of a new Community Policing Initiative, as part of a larger programme of police reform in Nigeria, aimed at rewriting the rules of engagement between the Force and citizens.

“President Buhari’s commitment to extensive Police reforms should never be in doubt. The President in September 2020 signed the new Nigeria Police Act, the first comprehensive revision of the Police Act in decades.”

He said about 13 states have so far established judicial panels of inquiry as agreed at the National Economic Council to address the question of justice for victims of police brutality across the country.

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