The Ekiti state Government which had earlier announced that it will be compensating victims of police brutality in line with the recommendation made by judicial panel of inquiry handling cases of human rights abuses by the disbanded Special- Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), has fulfilled its promise.
Governor Kayode Fayemi on Monday March 15, presented Cheques worth N507.4 million to victims of human rights violations and those whose lands were acquired for the building of the international cargo airport in the state.
Victims of police brutality were paid the sum of N7.4 million while 700 farmers, whose lands were acquired for the construction of the airport got the sum of N500 million.
Fayemi who promised that his government would carry out law reforms, policy changes and institutional strengthening that can fight crime in Ekiti and ensure justice for all, added that his government decided not to wait for six months expiration given the judicial panel of inquiry before commencing the payment. He stated that the decision was taken to instil confidence in governance.
“In most cases, we pay attention to the offenders while not trying to remedy the emotional and psychological damage done to the victims. The House of Assembly has begun work on the Ekiti criminal code with the task of ensuring that victims of crime are put side by side with the offenders and get compensations while the offenders got punishment.
“I hereby apologise to the victims of human rights violations in Ekiti for the hurt and damage they had suffered emotionally and psychologically. These monetary compensations would help to alleviate your feelings and what you have suffered”.
Addressing farmers and land owners whose 4,017 hectares of lands were acquired for the airport, the Governor said;
“The construction of the airport will, in the long run, create jobs, drive investments and our crops will be better marketed locally and international when operational.
“We have been able to surmount all initial problems and we have settled all issues with those whose farms were acquired in the construction. Ekiti is purely agrarian, this airport will help us maximise our gains in this sector”.
Fayemi concluded by saying that the money will be distributed to farmers from Afao, Ago Aduloju, Araromi Obo, Ijan, Igbogun, Ogbese and others, to alleviate whatever they have suffered through the process of construction.