As the work of the 30 judicial panels of inquiry established nationwide to investigate cases of police brutality against citizens and provide compensation for victims where necessary continues, the Federal Government has again assured that there would be comprehensive justice for all affected Nigerians.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, gave the assurance Monday in Lagos State at the launch of the Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund.
Prof. Osinbajo, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, extended the Federal Government’s “commiserations to the government and people of Lagos State for the loss of lives of citizens, the injured, and the colossal destruction of public and private properties, social amenities and infrastructure.”
Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre was both the epicenter of the #ENDSARS protests and the destruction that followed few weeks ago.
Noting the unfortunate loss of lives and property in Lagos and across the country, the Vice President added that the whole nation was in need of healing and the Buhari administration will pursue restorative justice for all affected.
According to the VP, referencing President Buhari’s commitment to justice, “these deaths should never have happened. It is now our responsibility to honour their memory and ensure that justice is comprehensively served.
“Our State, like our Nation, is in need of healing. We recognize that the balm for a wounded society is truth and justice. This is why judicial panels of inquiry have been established all across the country. Their mandate is to investigate cases of police brutality against citizens, and where necessary compensate victims.
“Specifically, in Lagos, the mandate of the inquiry has been expanded to include a full investigation of the Lekki toll gate incidents. This process has begun and all Federal Agencies and the armed services are participating actively as Mr. President said, and I quote, ”We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.”
“The pursuit of restorative justice, recompense for injury to innocents and a reckoning for perpetrators of abuse are essential components of the moral and ethical reconstruction of our homestead. I urge all of us to give this process a chance to work and to commit to the advocacy and participation that it will take to enable this process succeed.”
The Vice President again emphasized the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari administration to reform the Nigeria Police Force and address the root issues that led to the protests.
On the looting and destruction that followed the ENDSARS protests, the Vice President stated, “we have seen how the most noble causes, such as the ENDSARS protests designed to call attention to a serious malignant problem of brutality and extrajudicial killings, can be subverted leading to the exact opposite of its objectives, chaos, murder, looting and arson. We saw what can happen when the restraints of law and order are loosed and anarchy is given free rein.”
“In those difficult days when chaos swept from street to street consuming lives and livelihoods, we learned that society is built on the balance between freedom and order. But we have also realized that order itself is a social construct sustained by the consent of the governed.”