Bill seeking compensation for victims of ENDSARS scales first reading in Senate

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A bill on the compensation for victims of the October 2020 ENDSARS protest in the country scaled the first reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

The legislation titled: “A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Act,” was sponsored by the senator representing Cross River South senatorial district, Bassey Gershom.

Gershom, who led the debate on the matter, said the bill sought to provide for the establishment of the ENDSARS Victims Compensation Fund.

He said: “Distinguished colleagues, 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.

“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, destroyed and looted valuable assets.

“However distinguished colleagues the implementation of the recommendation of all the panels and committees regarding compensation has been very discouraging.”

READ ALSO: Amnesty decries lack of justice for victims of police brutality, one year after #EndSARS protests

The lawmaker lamented that the victims have been left to continually groan under the pains of injury inflicted by hoodlums during the ENDSARS protest.

Gershom stressed that the eventual establishment of the fund and implementation of the recommendation of the judicial panel of inquiry and Senate committee on ENDSARS would certainly bring succour to the victims of the protest.

“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, it is my prayer that you support this amendment bill that seeks to bring hope to the victims of the 2020 ENDSARS protest,” he added.

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, thereafter referred the bill to the Committee on Special Duties for further legislative input and report back to plenary in one week.

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