I want to know if my son is alive, Customs officer laments

AN officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Isaac Edoh, said he had yet to know whether his son was dead or alive as he narrated his ordeal to the Edo State Judicial Panel of Enquiry.

Isaac, who is from Benue State, said the last time he saw his son, Baba Edoh, was inside the custody of the Edo State Police Command in 2011.

Narrating his story to the panel in Benin City, he said his son was an undergraduate of English Literature, Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, before he was allegedly killed by the police.

The father of the deceased said in June 2011, he received an anonymous call from the State Criminal Investigation Department of Edo State Police Command that his son was arrested along Auchi road for alleged kidnapping.

“I tried speaking with him, but was prevented by officers on duty despite the knowledge of the relationship between me and the suspect in their custody.

“I immediately contacted the officer-in-charge of kidnapping section, who informed that my son was not in their custody. I was informed that he was one of the suspects paraded in a national television on June 4, 2011.

“I was told armed robbers attacked and shot my son while the police was conducting further investigations in Auchi. None of the police officers sustained injuries. The only person they said died was my son. Since his death, the police have refused to release the corpse.

“I later filed a suit in the High Court for fundamental rights, and got judgment. Unfortunately, the police appealed the case on the basis of identity conflict. The Court of Appeal urged us to return to the High Court for retrial. Since then, I have been demoralised and don’t know whether he is alive or dead; all I want is justice.”

The chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (Rtd), admitted a photograph of the son, Compact Disk of paraded suspects, and court proceedings as exhibits.

How police interference ruined my marriage – Victim

Mr Sunday Akpan, a victim of human rights abuse on Thursday told the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry that his marriage was ruined following undue interference by a police officer.

Akpan, who spoke through his counsel, Festus Obijeko, shortly after addressing the panel, told journalists in Benin City that he was smacked repeatedly on his ear by a police officer for allegedly selling his wife’s refrigerator and shop to pay debt.

Akpan stated that his condition had made it difficult for him to fend for his family.

“As I am talking with you now, himself and his wife are not together again. The children are not in school, the children are not well-fed. That psychological coverage that family should offer to children has been missing,” he said.

Protesters vandalised my car, says Ekiti victim

THE Judicial Panel of Inquiry into allegations of human rights violations against the police, including officials of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other persons in Ekiti State began it sitting on Thursday.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Cornelius Akintayo (retd), disclosed that the panel had received 22 petitions from members of the public.

The Akintayo-led panel was, however, told by a petitioner, Abiodun Olusola Daramola, a lecturer at Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, how his 505 salon car, with Registration Number YEE 310 AA, was allegedly vandalised by EndSARS protesters at the Dallimore area of the state capital on October 19.

Daramola, who said he had to park his car at the area following his inability to drive through in view of the protesters’ barricade, said “I decided that I should trek to Okesa Market to pick what I wanted to buy. When I returned, I met my car badly damaged.

“All the glasses (windshields and windows) were smashed. The bonnet and body were affected as well,” he said, adding that “I will be glad if the government can assist me in ameliorating the cost of the damage.”

Osun panel receives three petitions

In Osun, the panel constituted to investigate police brutality in Osun State said it had received three petitions.

The panel’s Secretary, Mr Kemi Bello, told our correspondent that the panel would soon commence sitting on the petitions.

Bello also said the Oba’s Chamber at Finance Building in Osun State Secretariat, Abere had been tentatively chosen as venue of the panel’s sitting.

Edo panel receives 27 petitions

The situation was, however, different in Edo as the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry received 27 petitions as it began sitting on Thursday at the Civic Centre.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (retd.), said members could also come to the office of the panel to make oral petition.

Kaduna panel calls for petitions

In Kaduna, the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry called on members of the public to submit petitions on police brutality and extrajudicial killings perpetrated in the state.

The panel established on October 16, 2020 in the wake of the #EndSARS protests, was given six months to conclude and submit its report.

A statement by the Secretary of the panel, Hajara Jibrin Abubakar, urged the public to submit the petition/memoranda on or before November 25, 2020 in 15 hard copies to be addressed to the secretary of the panel.

 ‘Nigeria’s unity not negotiable’

Meaanwhile, the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumin Usman, on Thursday, called for the punishment of whoever was found to have participated in the burning and looting of properties during the recent #EndSARS protests in some parts of the country.

He maintained that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable, insisting that Nigerians were together in peace despite our differences.

The emir gave the advice in Katsina when members of the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality paid him a courtesy visit.

Earlier, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Abbas Bawale, told the emir that he and other members were at the palace to seek his support in their assignment

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