Global human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, has revealed that many victims and survivors of brutality by the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad, including those who testified at the judicial panels set up by state governments to address cases of police brutality and human rights violations, are yet to get justice.
The rights body stated that this was despite resolutions made by panels and promises made by the government to compensate the victims.
In a report to track the effectiveness of the Anti-Torture Act of 2017, Amnesty said, “Many victims and survivors including those who testified at the #EndSars judicial panels are yet to receive the justice they deserved, despite the conclusion of the work of panels and government’s promise to implement the recommendations.”
In October 2020, numerous youths across Nigeria took to the streets to demand an end to extrajudicial killings by SARS operatives, as well as police brutality, harassment, and bad governance.
On October 20, 2020, when the demonstration was at its climax, security operatives were said to have opened fire on the protesters at the Lekki tollgate, Lagos State.
Amnesty decried the government’s insincerity in its fight against brutality, noting that it had continued to document credible testimonies of torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment by security agencies such as the police, military, and the State Security Services.
The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said the failure of the government to enforce the act was further empowering the perpetrators of torture.