The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry has frowned at the slow progress recorded in the petitions against police brutality, due to the lack of readiness exhibited by the police legal team.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi granted police request for adjournment one last time in the petitions of Ndukwe Ekekwe and Olajide Fowotade on Friday.
Ndukwe Ekekwe told Police counsel Emmanuel Eze, during cross examination that it was SARS officials that arrested him at his shop in Alaba international market in February 2018. he showed the panel the picture of the officer named Hamza who pushed him from the two storey building, which was also admitted as evidence.
The petitioner who spoke in pidgin English was given an interpreter to assist him, but he had no lawyer to represent him. he got agitated at some intervals of the questioning and Justice Okuwobi came to his aid.
The 34 year old trader of phone accessories says he still doesn’t know what warranted his arrest and ill treatment. he adds that the officers also looted his shops, carting goods worth millions of naira.
The police team requested for a 20 minute- break, and when the panel reconvened, they asked for an adjournment, saying they are yet to reach officials of the disbanded unit.
Olajide Fowotade’s petition also suffered another setback in his bid for compensation over the loss of his two front teeth and other injuries suffered at the hands of a police officer named Ayo in 2017.
The police lawyers said they needed more time to reach the then AIG Kayode Oluranti, as well as former spokesperson Dolapo Badmus and the DPO, who initially intervened in the case.
At least a hundred petitions are currently before the panel that started sitting on the 27th of October and the chairman says they need to make more progress to avoid exceeding the six-month mandate given to them.