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 expressed displeasure with the attitude of the Police in complying with an order to produce two police officers in Anambra state.
The officers are Mr Obiazo and Mr Uzo Emeana both of SARS Awkuzu, Anambra state on their alleged involvement in the arbitrary arrest and detention of Mr John Emeka Alozie who has been reportedly missing for the last three years.
The panel observed that the police had acted with impunity by making excuses rather than complying with the order of the panel made on two separate occasions to compel the arrest of the above-mentioned police officers.
The chairman of the panel had made this declaration when police failed to comply with the order of the court made on two separate occasions directing them to produce the aforementioned police officers before the panel, to explain the whereabouts of the victim.
In the light of the foregoing, the panel concluded that on November 10, 2021 which is the next adjourned date, final decision on the matter would be taken if the police fail to produce the said officers.
Report to the pannel
Lead counsel to the panel, Chino Obiagwu (SAN) drew the attention of the panel to its order for the production of Officers Obiazo and Emeana before the panel on December 15, 2020 and February 2, 2021, respectively and up until now, the two officers were yet to report to the panel.
According to the Senior Advocate, IGP’s liaison Officer to the panel, Cosmas Anyanwu had earlier promised the panel that he would ensure the production of the two named policemen before the panel but to no avail.
Besides, he told the panel that the complainant confided in him that the Force Headquarters had established a prima facie case against the said officers, preparatory to prosecution.
However, the Chairman of the panel insisted that Obiagwu SAN should make his own findings about the said plan by the Force Headquarters to prosecute some of the respondents in the matter rather than relying on the information given by the complainant.
In his response, lead counsel to the Nigerian Police, James Idacha informed the panel that Godwin Ijeoma who was assigned to handle the matter for the police has retired and that Cosmas Anyanwu, who promised to produce Obiazo and Emeana before the panel has been transferred to Calabar, Cross River state.
Access To The Case File
Continuing, he said that his legal team does not have access to the case file, a situation; he said poses a challenge as it relates to the production of the necessary police officers before the panel.
Idachaba also reminded the panel that the matter was slated for defense and cross-examination and that the complainant, Engr. Mrs. Nnenna John Alozie is yet to be cross-examined by the police.
Unlawfully detained The panel had stated that the two police officers were necessary parties in unravelling what transpired between the police and the victim, John Emeka who was alleged to have been unlawfully detained by the police for a long time without prosecution before a court of competent jurisdiction.
Justice Galadima specifically directed the IGP and the Anambra state Commissioner of Police to quickly give effect to the order of production to enable the panel arrive at an informed and just decision on allegations made against the policemen.
Source: Voice of Nigeria