By Shola Akingboye- 17th November 2020
It was another drama on Monday as the Independent Investigative Panel sitting on allegations of human rights violations at the Ceremonial Court of the Federal High Court in Abuja, compelled the Nigerian Police Force to produce one Edward Dumsiri Leera, whose brother and complainant, Confidence Leera alleged was held in police custody since November 1, 2019 on insinuations his brother may have been killed and disposed off by the Police.
Prior to the order, however, the elder brother to the victim, Confidence who was led by his counsel, Giwa Victor testified before the Panel about some ordeals of his missing brother in the hands of the affected Police officers. The complainant laments that the victim was arrested, detained for no just cause and his car confiscated and converted to personal use by IPO ASP David Ahmed Agbo.
Confidence further alleged that ASP Agbo has been driving the car belonging to the victim, including cash withdrawals from the victim’s bank account, using his ATM between November 2019 to October 2020.
He informed the panel that his family was asked to pay the sum of three million naira (N3m) by the police before Edward will be released.
Continuing, he stated that unfortunately, Edward Dumisara was not arraigned before any court of law in Nigeria and when the family got worried over his long incarceration, they instituted a suit for the enforcement of his fundamental rights in suit No. BHC/202/2019.
“Subsequently, on December 17, 2019, the honourable court ordered hearing of the application of Edward Dumisara Leera and delivered judgment in his favour and ordered immediate release of the said Edward. Confidence said.
He added the order was served on the Police but they refused to obey, said rather than complied with the court judgment of December 2019, Edward Dimisara was charged to court on 7 count charge before Honourable Justice E.N. Ogbuji in suit No. PHC/287/CR/2020 but IRT has neither produced him in court nor released him under the earlier court order.
Against the foregoing, he told the panel that it seems the victim had been killed extra judicially and disposed of.
In another twist, the panel also gave the Police team led by James Idachaba , November 17, 2020 to respond to a case involving threat to life of Mr. Bello Akubuokwu who was allegedly hit by Police bullet during Shiite clash with the Police at the Federal Secretariat in 2019.
According to the Chairman of the panel, Rtd Justice Suleiman Galadima, who made the order adjourned the case to Thursday, November 19, 2020 said that will enable the Police make the arrangements towards ensuring the appearance of one Superintendent of Police (SP) Martins Samuel, DSP Essien E. Edet Esq., ASP David Ahmed Agbo, IGP, IRT “D” Division Itam, Uyo, Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom and Inspector General of Police, who are the 1st to 6th respondent, respectively.
Meanwhile, four other cases such as the extrajudicial killing of a corps member, Linda Igwetu by the Police among others were adjourned to December 2, 2020 for the 1st respondent, as panel insists Inspector Benjamin Peters be produced before the panel.
Other complaints heard on Monday include a petition on abuse of office and arbitrary arrest of Engr. Nicholas Ogbedo Azuka, which was adjourned to November 30,2020 due to a plead by the Police legal team for more time to study the case file and make necessary arrangements to bring the respondents to the panel.
In the same vein, a complaint of alleged abuse of office and intimidation by Engr. Nicholas Ogbedo Azuka was adjourned to 2nd December 2020 to give more time to the Police towards ensuring the appearance of the respondents as ordered by the panel.
Earlier reacting to the position of the team of Counsel to the National Human Rights Commission led by Chino Obiagwu (SAN), who told the panel that the Police were properly served with the processes and proceedings of the honourable panel and therefore should be ready for the cases; the Commissioner of Police, Legal and lead counsel to the Police promised to bring all the police respondents to the panel to ensure that justice is served to all the parties concerned.