THE Senate on Wednesday, May 24, passed for second reading a bill seeking to compensate victims of the #EndSARS protests.
‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Emergency Management Agency Act’ is sponsored by Gershom Bassey, a senator of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Cross River State.
The proposed legislation seeks to provide for the establishment of the EndSARS Victims Compensation Fund.
Presenting the bill, Bassey noted that 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.
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.”
Bassey stressed that the victims have been left to continually groan under the pains of injury inflicted by hoodlums during the protest.
According to him, the eventual establishment of the Fund and implementation of the recommendation of the judicial panel of inquiry and Senate Joint Committee on #EndSARS would certainly bring succour to the victims of the protests.
“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.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan subsequently referred the bill to the Committee on Special Duties for further legislative input.
The committee is to report back to plenary in one week.
The ICIR reported that findings by the Lagos State Judicial Panel on #EndSARS have indicted the Nigerian Army of massacre at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.
These findings were contained in a report submitted by the panel to the Lagos State Government.
According to the report, which The ICIR saw, the panel noted that nine protesters were confirmed dead while four others were presumed dead.
The report listed 48 names as casualties of the Lekki incident of October 20, 2020.
Among the 48 casualties listed, 24 sustained gunshot injuries, while soldiers and police assaulted 15 others.
The panel also noted that 96 other corpses were presented by a Forensic Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, John Obafunwa.
It noted that testimonies of victims, eyewitnesses and independent experts employed to examine the footage taken during the unfortunate incident lend credence that the Army shot live bullets at protesters at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, resulting in deaths and severe gunshot injuries.
The panel also found that the shooting of the protesters by the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020, was unwarranted, excessive, provocative and unjustifiable in the circumstances of the state of the protests, which was peaceful and orderly.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected] He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M