The Lagos State Judicial Panel on the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other related matters has awarded N16.25 million to four victims of police brutality.
The petitioners, comprising three women and a man, are Tolulope Openiyi, Blessing Esanbor, Felicia Opara, and Tella Adesanya.
Issuing the ruling on Saturday, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd.), Chairperson of the Panel, announced that the panel awarded the sum of N10 million to Openiyi, N5 million to Esanbor; Opara received N750,000, while Adesanya got N500,000.
The petitioners took turns to receive the cheques from the panel’s chairperson.
Tolulope, a widow, had approached the panel over the death of her husband, Olusegun Openiyi, whom she said was shot by one Jide Akintola, a police sergeant with force number 32405.
The widow had told the panel that her husband, who worked for Celtel (now known as Airtel), was shot on his chest, while on his way back from an official outing at the University of Lagos in August 2007.
On her part, Esanbor had approached the panel to narrate how a police officer shot her on February 10, 2012, during an argument, adding that she sustained injuries, and had spent over N5 million in the hospital for treatment.
Adesanya said police officers seized his car while driving along LASU/Ibadan road in June 2018, after some persons accused him of hitting someone along Igando junction.
Adesanya in his testimony said he spent three days in a police cell, after which he alleged that he paid N10,000 for bail, and his car was damaged at the station.
He added that he wrote letters to the police, office of the public defender, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the presidency, seeking justice, but nothing was done earlier.
Opara told the panel she said some police officers assaulted her with guns after she was arrested for using her phone to record during the #EndSARS protest.