The Lagos State judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters has commended members of the public for supporting it with necessary information regularly.
Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi who is chairing the panel particularly thanked one Olumide Jones who furnished members of the panel with contact details of a police officer accused of assault, in which the petition is currently before the panel.
The petitioner, 60-year old Olajide Fowotade returned to the panel on Tuesday to continue his cross examination over his testimony of being brutalized in 2017 by one Ayo Odudu from the Ketu Police station, in which he sustained injuries, including his two front teeth broken.
But police counsel, Joseph Eboseremem told the proceedings that there were no records of the alleged assault at the police station and that the description of Ayo was vague. He added that he also checked at Zone 2 Command headquarters of the Nigerian Police to confirm from those who are said to be aware of the matter – the then Assistant Inspector General of Police, Kayode Aderanti, who has now retired, while former Public Relations Officer of the Lagos Command, Dolapo Badmus has been transferred to Abuja.
But Justice Okuwobi responded that the panel has been provided with the full names and phone number of the officer, as well as the places he has been posted to including the SARS unit at Ikorodu. She encouraged the public to continue to render such assistance, so as to save the time of the panel, and ordered the Police counsel to utilise the information ahead of the next date for hearing, which was fixed for December the 8th.
The panel also resumed hearing in the petition of 34-year old, Ndukwe Ekekwe who earlier testified on how he was pushed down from a two storey building by SARS officials in 2018, which left his spinal cord damaged. The panel again expressed its displeasure of the police counsel’s manner of conducting its cases before it so far. Justice Okuwobi was addressing Mr Eboseremem who again pleaded for a short adjournment to enable him bring the officer accused in the case, who was said to have been posted to Enugu state.
But Justice Okuwobi noted that hearing in Mr. Ndukwe’s petition began on November 3, 2020 and is one of 210 cases now before the panel.
She added that none of those cases have been concluded yet, and that the panel has five months left in its mandate. In the interest of justice, the panel gave the police one last adjournment to December 8, to enable the police conclude it’s cross examination or for the panel to close the case.