The Delta State Government Tuesday approved N102, 450,000 as compensation to the victims of police brutality and those extra-judicially killed, following the report of the panel that was set up in the state to probe the matter.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said since the judicial panel of enquiry was able to establish the acts of police brutality in some cases, resulting in death or denial of personal liberty and accordingly awarded monetary compensation for the victims, the state has upheld the judgement earlier delivered by High Courts in the state for various cases.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah in a signed statement in Asaba Tuesday said the state had compiled the identified cases till date and approved payment of judgement debts associated with them.
He said the payment would be effected in due course as considered by the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry that was constituted to receive and enquire into complaints of police brutality and related extra-judicial killings in the state.
”The Panel, which was inaugurated in October, 2020 received a total of 86 petitions for which it conducted Public Hearings in Asaba and Warri with full legal representation for all parties.
”The state government having considered the recommendations of the panel in these two categories of cases has accepted to pay the incidental claims recommended for the victims, amounting to the sum of N102,450,000,” he said.
He said another variant of the petitions received by the Panel were 30 petitions which required that the Commissioner of Police in the state to effect investigations to ascertain the circumstance of death of some persons in police custody.
He maintained that the inquiry will also entail the investigation of policemen identified to be involved in various acts of brutality.
”It is the expectation that at the completion of the investigation, the case files would be forwarded to the Attorney-General of Delta State for legal advice and possible prosecution of the policemen involved,” he said.
He said the report enjoined police officers to respect the rights of citizens during their operations and assured residents that policing in the state will take a more civil course going forward.