The Presidency has announced that the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police has approved the five demands pushed by the Nigerian youth protesting against the unit.
In a statement released by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the Presidency disclosed that the panel “swings into action” and “plays 5-point demand of protesters.”
The five demands of the protesters
- Immediate release of all arrested protesters
- Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families
- Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct (within 10days)
- In line with police act, psychological evaluation and retaining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed
- Increase Police salary so that they are adequately compensated for protecting the lives and property of citizens.
Adesina expanded that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has followed the directives of the President Muhammadu Buhari, convened a meeting with the stakeholders and agreed to meet the demands of the protesters that include the unconditional release of the arrested among them.
The spokesman said the meeting was attended by various stakeholders and partners of the #EndSARS movement.
He unveiled that civil society organisations, independent activists, influencers, Ministry of Police Affairs and Police Service Commission were also present at the meeting.
The communiqué of the meeting signed by the IGP and Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, reads:
“Following the public protests regarding various forms of human rights violations by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the consequent disbandment of the unit by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, there arose the need for stakeholder engagement to build trust and restore public confidence in law enforcement.
“The agitations also brought to the fore, the need to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
“The Forum was addressed by the Inspector General of Police and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission.
“The Forum collectively: welcomed the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest; further affirmed the sanctity of life of every Nigerian and the role of the Police in protecting this right; affirms that the five-point demands of the protesters and the END SARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the government.’’
At Least Ten People Killed During the Protest
Not less than ten people were reportedly killed during the #EndSARS protests in different parts of Nigeria.
Jimoh Isiaq was allegedly killed by police officers while standing away from the protest area in Ogbomoso of Oyo State on Saturday, October 10, 2020.
According to the residents, three more people were also killed during another protest against the killing of the Jimoh Isiaq the next day.
The protesters had a confrontation with the police at the palace of the traditional ruler in the town, the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi, leading to the reported death of three youth and the destruction of cars and properties in the royal palace.
At Ugheli of Delta State, two people were also killed, including a police officer identified as Etaga Stanley who was there to manage the protest.
In Surulere of Lagos State where the protest turned violent, a 55-year-old man identified as Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo was reportedly killed by a police bullet after he stepped out of his vehicle to look up the road 25 meters away from the protest centre.