By Shola Akingboye, 14 December, 2021
The Police has denied being served with the written address in the case of alleged enforced disappearance of one Mr Morris Ashwe, which came up before the IIP-SARS Panel on Monday.
Lead counsel to the police at the ongoing Independent Investigative panel on human rights violations by defunct SARS and other units of the Nigeria Police Force, James Idachaba Esq, revealed that, rather than serve him a copy of the written address personally, or the legal department of the Force headquarters, the panel’s Secretariat served the Intelligence Response Team.
According to Idachaba, the IRT is yet to transmit the said written address served on them to him as lead counsel responsible for responding to same.
Idachaba maintained that, since no service was made to him, it is assumed that the complainant has no case against the police, since there is nothing to respond to.
Reacting, Chino Obiagwu SAN, lead counsel to the panel however disagreed with Idachaba. The learned silk disclosed to the panel that the legal department of the Force headquarters had refused to be served, rather directing the bailiff to IRT to serve.
Chino SAN, further disclosed that after the initial back and forth, the bailiff indeed served both the IRT and the Commissioner of Police Legal, prosecution office at Force CID with a copy of the written address of the complainant on December 9, 2021 respectively.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima rtd, equally reminded counsel to police that, at the last hearing on the matter, it had ordered that the written address be served on the first respondent at IRT office.
Following the directive of Justice Suleiman Galadima rtd, a copy of the complainant’s written address was made available to James Idachaba Esq.
The chairman however ruled that the panel will give the police counsel up till 14th December 2021 to respond to the address as he had just been served during the panel sitting.
The matter was adjourned accordingly.