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Senate Passes Bill To Compensate #EndSARS Victims


The Senate approved a bill to pay victims of the 2020 #EndSARS protest on second reading on Wednesday.

The #EndSARS movement began in October 2020, when thousands of primarily young Nigerians flocked to the streets to protest police brutality, particularly that of the now-defunct harsh Special Anti-Robbery Squad police squad.

The peaceful protest lasted for days across the country until it was hijacked by hoodlums, prompting the military to intervene, particularly in Lagos, the epicenter of the protest.

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Following a curfew announced by the Lagos State Government on the night of October 20, 2020, armed troops attacked the Lekki tollgate to disperse a large throng of protesters gathered there.

The military involvement was preceded by widespread reports of extrajudicial killings and protester shootings, which the military denied.

According to Amnesty International, which accused the military of unlawful killings, at least 12 people were killed and others were injured during the #EndSARS rallies.

As a result, many states established independent panels to investigate human rights breaches committed by the police unit and other units of the Nigerian police.

The National Human Rights Commission in Abuja was tasked with carrying out the investigation.


Senator Gershom Bassey (Peoples Democratic Party, Cross-River State) introduced the measure, titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Emergency Management Agency Act.”

Bassey, in his lead debate, said the bill seeks to provide for the establishment of the #EndSARS Victims Compensation Fund.

He said, “Distinguished colleagues, you may recall that as a result of the #EndSARS nationwide protests in October 2020, judicial panels of inquiry were constituted to address the demands of protesters and compensation for verified victims of the #EndSARS protest.”

“The findings of the judicial panels of inquiry and the Senate Joint Committee on #EndSARS revealed the killing of protesters, destruction of private and public properties by rampaging hoodlums, who seized and took over the protest, vandalizing and looting valuable assets.”

“However, the implementation of the recommendations of all the panels and committees regarding compensation has been very discouraging.”

According to the congressman, the wounded have been left to groan incessantly as a result of injuries inflicted by hoodlums during the protest.

He stated that the ultimate establishment of the fund, as well as the implementation of the recommendations of the judicial panel of investigation and the Senate Joint Committee on #EndSARS, would help the victims.

“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, it is my prayer that you support this amendment bill that seeks to bring hope to the victims of the 2020 #EndSARS protest,” Bassey said.



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