By Shola Akingboye, 26th April 2022
The Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS, and other units of the Nigerian Police Force Monday, has issued a warrant of arrest on the Commissioner of Police in charge of legal services at the Force Headquarters, CP Ochogwu in respect of the alleged enforced disappearance and unlawful arrest and detention of John Emeka Alozie by the Force since 25th of June, 2017.
The arrest warrant is coming on the heel of the CP’s refusal to honour several invitations by the panel over the case file of the victim, Alozie. The panel recalled that despite adjourning the petitions five times to allow more time for the CP to do the needful, the Chairman noted that the CP has flagrantly and repeatedly disobeyed the order of the panel, having refused to turn in the said case file to enable the panel to unravel the truth about the whereabouts of Alozie following the law.
Consequently, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima rtd, has however issued an arrest warrant on the top Police Officer while expressing his displeasure that the attitude of Ochogwu is unbecoming of a lawyer and officer of the Police Force.
According to the eminent jurist, the only option left for the panel is to issue a warrant of arrest on the CP legal and mandate the National Human Rights Commission to write to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC to report the Ochogwu conduct in the matter.
It would be recalled that the wife of the victim, Alozie had testified that a high court had ordered the Police to release the victim and the order was never obeyed to date.
The panel adjourned the petition till 27th of April, 2022 for a progress report.