Adelani Adepegba, Oladimeji Ramon, Alexander Okere, Abiodun Nejo and Dennis Naku
Victims of police brutality have demanded justice against police brutality at the judicial panels of enquiry sitting in Lagos, Rivers and Ekiti states.
Some governors had set up the panels to probe police brutality, following the EndSARS protests that rocked the nation.
In Rivers State, a woman, Patience Mbang, on Friday demanded justice from the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Police Brutality over the alleged extra-judicial killing of her son, Andrew Mbang by men of the Rivers State Police Command in September 2007.
Mbang, a native of Eket Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State who was testifying before the panel led by Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (rted.) on Friday said she was denied access to her son who was arrested on September 20, 2007 by operatives attached to the Old GRA Police Station, Port Harcourt, before and after he was killed.
Chairman of the panel, retired Justice Uriri, adjourned the matter till December 6, 2020, for cross-examination of the witness and continuation of hearing.
In Lagos State, a 71-year-old retired soldier, Michael Openiyi, narrated to the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry how one Sergeant Jide Akintola attached to the Sabo Police Station in Lagos shot dead his son, Olusegun Openiyi, on August 19, 2007.
The septuagenarian said his son, who worked for a telecommunication company, Celtel, at the time, was on an official duty, riding in the company’s vehicle when he was shot by the policeman around the University of Lagos.
When challenged by the police lawyer, Cyril Ejiofor, why he did not sue the police if he was sure that his son was killed by a policeman, Openiyi said, “We took the case to lawyer Keyamo. It is in his record. But being a poor man, he dropped the case.”
Also in Lagos, a 27-year-old lady, Nkemakolam Okpara, narrated how she was tortured by policemen in Ojuelegba, Lagos for using her mobile phone to film a scene where people were running helter-skelter as gunshots were being fired during the #EndSARS protest.
The retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel adjourned till December 4 to view the video of how Okpara was brutalised by policemen.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Inquiry has recommended N150,000 as assistance to a victim of vandalism at an #EndSARS protest, Mr Olusola Daramola.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Cornelius Akintayo (retd.), on Friday, said the sum would assist the complainant in fixing his car, which was vandalised by hoodlums.
Okorocha visits Sanwo-Olu, salutes gov’s courage
Meanwhile, a former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has described the recent #EndSARS protest as a lesson for all Nigerians and an opportunity to re-unite the country.
Okorocha, who represents Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, also cautioned against demonising the youths who led the protests.
The former governor, who spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to the Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the State House, Marina, commended him for displaying uncommon courage in attending to emergency situations occasioned by the twin crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent nationwide youth protests against police brutality.
In a statement titled ‘EndSARS protests: Okorocha salutes Sanwo-Olu’s leadership, courage,’ and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, the senator was quoted as saying, “I am here to commend the governor for the manner he has handled the entire scenario, the courage he displayed and the proactiveness we all witnessed, even at the risk of his life during the #EndSARS crisis. He came out and engaged the youths where the protests were most intense.~
#EndSARS: No violent protests will be allowed again, IG vows
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has vowed not to allow violent protests in the country, noting that the police were ready to combat any group attempting to cause a breakdown of law and order.
While reiterating that the constitution guaranteed peaceful protests, the IG said many of the masterminds of the violence that rocked the #EndSARS protests had been arrested, including inmates who escaped from an Edo custodial centre.
Responding to questions during a meeting with command commissioners of police in Abuja on Friday, Adamu stated that many inmates had also been arrested in Kano and Kaduna states while perpetrating crimes.
He said, “We will never allow this type of #EndSARS protest again; it was violent. Peaceful protest is allowed in our constitution. When these rallies started peacefully, we provided security for them.”
Published at Fri, 27 Nov 2020 16:00:00 +0000