#YNaijaEndSARSupdates: Sanwo-Olu has released a list of police officers on trial for crimes against humanity, but something doesn’t add up

Recent events following the #EndSARS protest have been anything but comforting. Not only are the youth pained over the murder of comrades in the struggle for a better Nigeria, but also President Buhari’s twelve-minute speech that excluded the fact that security men opened fire on unarmed peaceful protesters was like an added insult to injury. On another hand, Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated his commitment to getting justice for victims of police brutality, yet something seems amiss.

On Friday, 23 October, the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, took to Twitter to keep Lagosians abreast of ongoing efforts to bring to book, culprits of the heinous crime of police brutality that has claimed the lives of many young Nigerians. 

On his Twitter page, the governor displayed a list of names of police officers who have been prosecuted for offences related to the violation of human rights in Lagos.

His tweet reads:

This looks like a step in the right direction, but there are concerns. A closer examination of the list shows that most of the cases date back to between 2012 and 2019, with only two cases from 2020.

With the number of people killed by uniformed men this year alone, especially on the heels of the #EndSARS protest, it is very disturbing to see that only two persons among the culprits are currently undergoing trial. This doesn’t seem fair to the many families who have lost their loved ones to police brutality. 

Also, the mere fact that cases from as far back as 2012 and 2013 are yet to be closed puts a big question mark on Nigeria’s criminal justice system. If such cases are still ongoing and victims are yet to get justice for crimes committed against them by the police, what is the hope that victims from 2020 will receive the deserved justice for the newly filed cases? 

While the government is making efforts to bring the culprits to book, they must also expedite the process and ensure that everyone who has a hand in the deaths of all the peaceful protesters who lost their lives in the struggle for a better Nigeria is fished out and punished for their crimes against humanity. The big question, however, is can we trust a government that has lied and failed us time and again? 

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