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BusinessDay

Senate passes bill to establish compensation fund for EndSARS victims

The Nigerian Senate has passed for second reading, a bill for an Act to Amend the National Emergency Management Act CAP N34 LFN, 2023 with the aim to establish the EndSARS Compensation Fund for the victims of the October 2020 protest in the country.

Recall that some of the October 2020 EndSARS protesters were killed while public and private properties were destroyed and vandalised by hoodlums who hijacked the protest.

The bill which is titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Act”, sponsored by Gershom Bassey (PDP Cross-River), was first read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

Bassey in his lead debate informed that “you may recall that as a result of the EndSARS nationwide protests in October 2020, judicial panels of inquiry were constituted to address the demands of protesters and compensation for verified victims of the protest.

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“The findings of the judicial panels of inquiry and the Senate joint committee on EndSARS revealed the killing of protesters, destruction of private and public properties by rampaging hoodlums, who seized and took over the protest vandalising and looting valuable assets.

“However, the implementation of the recommendation of all the panels and committees regarding compensation has been very discouraging. The victims have been left to continue to groan under the pains of injury inflicted by hoodlums during the EndSARS protest.

Bassey, in an interview with newsmen, affirmed that the establishment of the fund and implementation of the recommendation of the judicial panel of inquiry and Senate joint committee on EndSARS would bring succour to the victims, nationwide protest.

Ahmad Lawan, the Senate president, referred the bill to a committee on special duties for further legislative input and report back to the plenary in one week.