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Human Rights Panel summons policemen

The Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) has again summoned Idris Zakari of Bwari Police station, FCT-Abuja, to answer to allegations of harassment of a complainant, Mr. Marcus Odianese.

Mr. Zakari, a Police Sergeant, was first summoned on the 11th of this month to appear before the panel on Tuesday the 23rd which he did not up.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima also directed 3 other police officers of the Delta State Command to appear before it to explain what they know about the death in custody of one, Mr. Godwin Ovoke.

Mr. Idris Zakari was the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) handling the case of an arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention and torture of one, Mr. Marcus Odianese.

Though a court in the FCT had awarded N1 million compensation as damages to the complainant on the 18th of January this year which was yet to be complied with by the respondent, Mr. Odianese said Mr. Zakari had continued to harass and intimidate him.

Counsel to the police, James Idachaba who could not specifically explain why Zakari was not before the panel, said the panel should no longer entertain the matter since there was already a judgment on the case.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima said in view of the fact that the petitioner complained about harassment and intimidation, Mr. Zakari must appear before the panel on 24th March, 2021.

Another case that was entertained by the panel was that of alleged unlawful arrest and extra-judicial killing of one Mr. Godwin Ovoke on the 9th of July, 2019 in Abraka, Delta State.

The IPO, Mr. Tambari had testified before the panel on the 3rd of December, last year that while on an investigative mission with Ovoke in a van, he jumped from the moving vehicle and was confirmed dead in the hospital.

Counsel to the father of the diseased, Okoroze Egbo said the family was only seeking justice from the panel.

Aside from the police presenting the medical report and record of Ovoke, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima in addition, summoned the 3 police Sergeants who were with Ovoke in the van; Lucky Okuku, Musa Sunday and Lucky Kehinde to appear before it on the 15th of next month to explain what transpired on the said date.

The panel also heard the case of an alleged extra judicial killing of one Efe Samson in November 2016.

Though a Federal High court in Delta State had in May, 2018 awarded N20 million damages as compensation to the family of Samson, the police were yet to enforce the judgment.

Counsel to the petitioner, Okoroze Egbo appealed to the panel to assist the family implement the judgment.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima said it could not seat over a court judgment but would give advisory in its report that the judgment be honored by the police.

Bose Ijelekhai

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