Sunday, March 7, 2021
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End SARS: United Nations says it is following protests in Nigeria; as state, federal govts  share responsibility to address grievances The United Nations (UN) on Thursday said they are following the End SARS protests in Nigeria. Secretary-General António Guterres, commended the government’s decision to undertake “broader reforms” in the Nigeria Police. Guterres spoke through his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, in New York. The UN chief said he was prepared to “accompany Nigeria in those efforts”. He welcomed the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and urged the government to undertake broader police reforms. The world body urged the country’s security forces to exercise “maximum restraint” in their response. “The Secretary-General is following the protests in Nigeria calling for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and an end to human rights violations allegedly committed by security agencies. “The Secretary-General stresses the importance of respect for peaceful protests and freedom of assembly and calls on the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in the policing of the demonstrations.” #EndSARS: NEC Sets Up Panels To Probe Police Brutality, Asks Governors To Take Full Control OF Their Domains — All cases of police brutality and other abuses are to be investigated immediately across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. This will be done by a judicial panel of inquiry, which each state must set up to complete such investigations within six weeks. A special fund for the payment of competition to victims is also to be established in each state. These were part of the resolutions reached on Thursday during a virtual meeting of the National Economic Council. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. A retired High Court judge will chair the panel, while members will include two representatives of civil society groups; one retired police officer of high repute; one youth representative; one student representative; one representative of the State Attorney-General/Ministry; and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.” NEC also spelt out the terms of reference for the judicial panel thus, “receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra judicial killings; evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.” The council’s resolutions read partly, “Rising from its monthly meeting, the National Economic Council has directed the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry…

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