Nigeria Senate has passed a Bill seeking to compensate victims of #EndSARS protest for second reading.
The bill, which is sponsored by Senator Gershom Bassey (PDP, Cross River), passed the second reading stage at plenary on Wednesday. LEADERSHIP recalls that the #EndSARS rallies organised to protest police brutality in the country, took violent dimension in October 2020 after being hijacked by hoodlums in some parts of the country, leading to the death of innocent Nigerians, policemen and destruction of public and private properties.
Leading the debate on the general principles of the Bill, Senator Bassey said the proposed legislation 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, and 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 recommendation of all the panels and committees regarding compensation has been very discouraging.”
The lawmaker added that the victims have been left to continually groan under the pains of injury inflicted by hoodlums during the protest.
According to Bassey, the eventual establishment of the Fund and implementation of the recommendation of the judicial panels of inquiry and Senate Joint Committee on EndSARS, would certainly bring succour to the victims of the 2020 EndSARS nationwide protest.
“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,” he said.
After the debate, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, subsequently referred the Bill to the Senate Committee on Special Duties for further legislative input and report back to plenary in one week.