May 26, 2022

Abuja Panel Talks Tough, Says Injustice Did to Lukman Salihu Will Not Die

By Shola Akingboye, Dec 15, 2021

An investigative panel on human rights violations by defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian Police Force, led by Justice Suleiman Galadima rtd, has vowed to see to the end of the case of enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention and denial of justice of one Mr Lukman Salihu.

Justice Galadima rtd, asserted on Tuesday as he pointed out the uniqueness of the said matter.

The rtd Supreme Court justice described the matter as unique due to claim by the Police that the victim was arrested and handed over to the Joint Military Action on Terrorism, a claim the panel insists must be verified, especially as the whereabouts of the victim remains unknown several years after his arrest by the Police.

In his words, Justice Galadima noted: “this matter is in a class of its own, it is unique. Police will have to prove the claim that the victim is not in their custody but has been handed over appropriately as alleged”.

Towing the line of the Chairman of the panel, John Aikpokpo Martins, who is the representative of the Nigerian Bar Association on the panel, maintained that there was a need to know exactly what becomes of the victim and until that is established; the case will continue.

The matter which has come up several times before the panel has not recorded appreciable progress owing to the failure of Amadin Christopher (now retired), to appear before it as ordered by the panel and state his involvement in the matter. Christopher is said to be the IPO in the matter before it was transferred to the Joint Military Action on Terrorism.

Counsel to the police, Fidelis Ogwobe Esq previously informed the panel that his investigations on the whereabouts of the victim revealed that he was involved in a case of terrorism, and was handed over to Joint Military Action on Terrorism, in New Bussa, Niger State, by the Police who arrested him in the first instance.

Ogwobe tried unsuccessful attempts made by him to ensure the appearance of IPO Aladin Monday to explain his involvement in the case as ordered by the panel.

Lukman Suleiman, a native of Kogi State, was allegedly arrested in 2015 at Zuba, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in a taxi on his way to school in Nasarawa State, and has not been seen since then.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Suleiman Galadima rtd, adjourned the matter indefinitely, to continue when the panel reconvenes early next year.

In the interim, the matter has been referred to the National Human Rights Commission for the continuation of the investigation.

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