The federal government on Thursday released a cheque of N135 million to the relatives and victims of eight persons who were killed by the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2013.
The payment is coming four years and seven months after a panel of inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) indicted the security agency of grossly violating the rights of the victims and consequently ordered the State Security Service to pay compensation of N135m to the dead and injured victims.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), who made the presentation on behalf of the federal government, said the gesture is a confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to upholding the rule of law, justice and respect of human rights. Eight persons were reported to have died and 11 others sustained various degree of injuries when security operatives, acting on intelligence report on September 20, 2013 attacked the victims in Apo area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The incoming Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, said although, there is no amount of money that can compensate for the injuries sustained or losses occasioned by the incident, the payment on Thursday has however renewed the hope of getting justice in the country.
He disclosed that the commission has put in place measures to ensure that the right persons are paid. All payments relating to this compensation are being made through the bank after verification of the accounts, signatures and photographs of the victims. A breakdown of the payment shows that N10 million each was awarded to the dead victims, while each of the 11 injured got N5 million.