The Presidency on Wednesday appealed to Nigerians to show understanding with the present regime and remain calm while it tries to implement police reforms.
The call was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘President Buhari welcomes establishment of judicial panels of inquiry by 13 states to deliver justice for victims of police brutality’.
The call for calm came few hours after eyewitnesses claimed armed soldiers opened fire on protesting youths at the Lekki toll gate area in Lagos State.
Reeling out the steps he claimed have so far been taking to address the demands of the protesters, Adesina wrote, “The Presidency appeals for understanding and calm across the nation, as the implementation of the reforms gathers pace at federal and state levels.
“The Presidency wishes to reiterate the full commitment of the Buhari administration to the implementation of lasting police reforms in Nigeria.”
The presidential spokesman claimed that at the last count, no fewer than 13 states have established judicial panels of inquiry as resolved by the National Economic Council to address the question of redress and justice for victims of police brutality across the country.
He listed the states that have done so to include Lagos, Kaduna, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Plateau, Edo, Nasarawa, Ondo and Akwa Ibom.
The statement added, “President Muhammadu Buhari welcomes the promptness of these necessary subnational actions, and reaffirms his commitment to supporting the state governments to ensure that justice is achieved for all victims of police brutality in Nigeria.
“Under the Chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Economic Council at its meeting on Thursday October 15, 2020 resolved to establish state-level Judicial Panels of Inquiry, to investigate allegations of Police brutality and ensure that all erring personnel are brought to justice.
“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.