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#EndSARS: Presidency pleads for calm, understanding

The presidency has appealed for understanding and calm across Nigeria amid the End SARS agitations.

Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, in a statement on Tuesday said the implementation of the Police reforms was gathering pace at Federal and State levels.

He noted that as at the last count, 13 States have established the Judicial Panels of Inquiry as resolved by the National Economic Council to address justice for victims of police brutality.

They are Lagos, Kaduna, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Plateau, Edo, Nasarawa, Ondo and Akwa Ibom.

Adesina said President Muhammadu Buhari welcomed the promptness of the actions and will support states to ensure that justice is achieved for all victims of police brutality in Nigeria.

He said under the chairmanship of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the National Economic Council (NEC) at its meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2020 resolved to establish State-level Judicial Panels of Inquiry.

“Prior to that, the President in June 2019 signed a Bill establishing the Police Trust Fund, to mobilize additional funding for the welfare and equipping of the Nigeria Police Force. Accrual of funding into the Fund, as specified in its enabling Act, has commenced.”

The statement recalled that Buhari in 2018 approved an increase in police salaries and the Police personnel budget has seen a rise from N288 billion in the 2018 Budget to N417 billion in the proposed 2021 budget; an increase of 45 per cent.

“Only on Tuesday, at the commissioning of the Nigerian Police Pension Fund Limited building, the President also reiterated continuous support for both serving and retired police personnel.

“The President has equally approved the rollout and funding of a new Community Policing Initiative, as part of a larger programme of police reform in Nigeria, aimed at rewriting the rules of engagement between the Force and citizens.”

Adesina added that President Buhari’s commitment to extensive Police reforms should never be in doubt.

He cited the signing of the new Nigeria Police Act, “the first comprehensive revision of the Police Act in decades”.

“As President Buhari declared, the immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), is the first step in a set of reform policies that will deliver a Police system accountable to the Nigerian people. The President has also approved full implementation of the report of the 2018-2019 Presidential Panel on Police Reform.

“Indeed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Police Service Commission (PSC) have now commenced the implementation of the Report.”

The presidency reiterated the full commitment of the Buhari administration to the implementation of lasting Police reforms in Nigeria.

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