THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said on Thursday that 44 of the petitions received by its panel investigating acts of police brutality centred on judgment debts incurred by the police as a result of rights violations.

A statement by the commission revealed that the panel, chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, considered 20 of the petitions at its executive session on Thursday.

The statement further revealed that a total of N575.8 million was awarded against the Nigeria Police Force in the judgments referenced by the petitions considered by the panel at Thursday’s proceedings.

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Tony Ojukwu Executive Secretary, NHRC

“The executive session considered 20 out of the 44 petitions on non-adherence by the police of court judgments awarding compensations to victims of human rights violations, and decisions were made on each of the petitions otherwise known as judgment debts.

“The petitions on judgment debts of about N575.8million were considered ranging from the award of the sum of N200 million to ₦120,000 of cases bordering on extra-judicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture, alleged enforce disappearance , confiscation of property, etc,” the statement reads in part.

The panel, the statement also reads, “agreed that the victims of human rights who got court judgments should be paid.”

The panel’s secretary, Mr Hillary Ogbonna, the statement also stated, asked the police to make a commitment to respect court orders and that the judgment sum will be paid from the human rights compensation funds which are for such purposes.

“Apart from assisting the victims of human rights violations to get their compensation paid, Mr Ogbonna said the panel has also taken a decision to order the police authority to issue apologies to some of the petitioners who have issuance of apology as part of their compensation,” the statement added.

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