Saturday, May 28, 2022

Enforced Disappearance: Police say #EndSARS panel lacks power to review court decision

A police counsel told the panel that the matter in the petition had been decided by a court of competent jurisdiction.

• March 30, 2022
Abuja EndSARS panel

A police counsel, James Idachaba, has told the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) panel investigating human rights abuses by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units that it lacks the power to investigate the decision of a competent court.

Mr Idachaba made this claim when he was arguing his final written address in alleged disappearance of John Alozie.

In his argument, he said that the matter in the petition was decided by a court of competent jurisdiction and what was left was to enforce the judgment of the court.

“When such is the case, it is wrong to repeal the same matter in another setting like the panel.

“This panel does not have the power to review whatever a court of competent jurisdiction decided,” he said.

Mr Idachaba said it would amount to abuse of court processes.

He, therefore, urged the panel to dismiss the claims of the petitioner because it would amount to fragment abuse of court processes.

Garba Tetengi, who represented the chairman, retired Justice Suleiman Galadima, after listening to his argument adjourned for the panel report on the petition.

The panel had on March 8, ordered that the CP legal, DCP Igbeh Ochogwu, who is with the file should appear before it with it (file).

But Mr Idachaba informed the panel that Mr Ochogwu denied knowing anything of the file.

He added that the CP legal said he had never seen such file and it was never in his custody.

Mr Idachaba further informed the panel that Mr Ochogwu never promised that he would produce the file to the panel.

The police counsel had on March 22, promised the panel that he would personally produce the case file of the victim.

The victim’s wife, Nnnena Alozie, alleged arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance and detention of her husband by the police in a petition marked 2020/IIp-SARS/ABJ/73.

The respondents in the matter are: ASP M. Obiozor of the defunct SARS Awkuzu, Anambra; Uzi Emeana; Sunday Okpe, Anambra Commissioner of Police; and the Inspector-General of Police.

The panel had on November 16, 2021, ordered the police to produce the petitioner’s husband.

It also told the police to produce the two vehicles, a Lexus and a Ford, the briefcase and documents taken away from the residence of the petitioner on June 15, 2017 when Alozie was arrested.


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