#EndSARS advocate, Rinu Oduala, has criticized the Nigerian Government, saying it lacks the political will to end police brutality across the nation.
Ms. Oduala stated this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, to mark the one anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.
“I say with all confidence that I do not think that the Nigerian Government possesses the political will to end police brutality because they benefit from our indignity; they lack proactive action, political will, and implementation of policies”, she said.
According to her, the government lacks an external accountability mechanism in handling the issues surrounding police brutality.
She believes despite the protests held last year and actions taken by the government, the police officers have yet to stop extorting innocent citizens.
“From October last year till now, are police officers still not extorting Nigerian citizens, harassing them?” Oduala queried. “Just in September, from reports that I know of, over 10 young Nigerians were killed extra-judicially by police officers across Nigeria.
“We should ask our policymakers if they are focused on ending police brutality? From the panels, are we paying victims no matter how small the amount is for the injustice meted to them and letting the criminals who got them to this situation get a pat on the back, or are we making sure that we set systems that ensure that cases of police brutality reduce drastically?”
Rinu, while speaking about her experience as a member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, stated that most of the victims who came to the panel just wanted the public to know that they were victims of police brutality.
“Nigerians that were at the panel just wanted the world, the public to know that they were also victims of police brutality, and it’s not just a myth.
“Some of these people have been given an opportunity to air their complaints and anger to the world; it shows that we are doing something right,” she said.
“As a member of the panel, the number of cases I have seen shows we are winning something. A year after, the five-for-five demands are still yet to be met.
“Some protesters who were put in prison are still there, what are the police afraid of? These protesters were charged for frivolous things.”
A year after the Lekki tollgate shooting, celebrities and youths held a memorial car procession at the same venue in Lagos State.
The procession announced by rapper Falz and comedian Mr Macaroni took place amid heavy security presence to mark the anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that led to the disbandment of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police.