By Raphael Ekpang
The Independent Investigative Panel on allegations of human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigerian Police force Monday ordered the Police to produce Edward Dumsiri Leera who has allegedly been held in police custody since November 1, 2019.
The brother of Edward has alleged that his brother Confidence Leera was held in police custody since November 1,2019.
The panel also gave the Police team led by James Idachaba till Tuesday 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, Abuja in 2019.
The Chairman of the panel, retired Justice Suleiman Galadima who made the order at the FCT ceremonial court, venue of the panel’s sitting adjourned the case to Thursday November 19, 2020 to enable the Police make the necessary arrangements towards ensuring the appearance of SP Martins Samuel, DSP Essien E. Edet Esq., ASP David Ahmed Agbo, IPO, IRT “D” Division Itam, Uyo, Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom and Inspector General of Police, who are the 1st to 6th respondent respectively.
Corereporters report that prior to the order, the elder brother to the victim, Confidence who was led by his counsel, Giwa Victor testified before the Panel about some of the ordeals of his missing brother in the hands of the affected Police officers.
According to the complainant the victim was arrested, detained for no just cause and his car confiscated and converted to personal use by IPO ASP David Ahmed Agbo.
In addition, he alleged that ASP Agbo is now driving the car belonging to the victim, as well as allegedly making cash withdrawals from the victim’s bank account using his ATM between the period of 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.
He revealed that 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.
Consequently, on December 17, 2019 the honourable court ordered the hearing of the application of Edward Dumisara Leera and delivered judgment in his favour and ordered immediate release of the said Edward. He added that the order was served on the Police but they till date they are yet to release him.
Confidence lamented that instead of complying to the court judgment of December 2019, Edward Dimisara was charged to court on 7 count charges before Honourable Justice E.N. Ogbuji in suit No. PHC/287/CR/2020 but IRT has neither produced him in court nor released him in accordance with the earlier court order.
Against the foregoing, he told the panel that it seems the victim had been killed extra judicially and disposed of.
Meanwhile, four other cases were adjourned to later dates. The case of extra judicial killing of a corps member, Linda Igwetu by the Police was adjourned to December 2, 2020 for the 1st respondent, Inspector Benjamin Peters to be produced before the panel.
Similarly, a complaint of abuse of office and arbitrary arrest of Engr. Nicholas Ogbedo Azuka was adjourned to November 30, 2020 because the Police legal team pleaded 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 also by Engr. Nicholas Ogbedo Azuka was adjourned to December 2, 2020 to give more time to the Police towards ensuring the appearance of the respondents as ordered by the panel.
Earlier, a team of Counsel to the National Human Rights Commission led by Chino Obiagwu (SAN) 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.
Meanwhile, CP 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.