A retired chief superintendent of police (CSP), Carol Afegbai, has sued the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses for issuing a warrant of arrest against her after she failed to appear before it.
PREMIUM TIMES reported on December 1 that the panel ordered the arrest of Ms Afegbai for failing to appear before it.
The panel had summoned Mrs Afegbai over her alleged complicity in the murder of Ibrahim Momodu, a student of the University of Benin, in 2015.
She was the divisional police officer of Ogida police station in Benin City when Mr Momodu, a 500-level student of the Faculty of Laboratory Science, was killed close to his family house at No 1, Igbobaewaye Street, off Siluko Road by Textile Mill junction.
The chairperson of the panel, Ada Ehigiamusoe, had, while issuing the arrest order, said, “It is of the view therefore of this panel that the respondent having failed to appear before the said panel, a warrant of arrest should be issued against her to appear before the said panel.”
She added, “Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that a warrant of arrest be issued forthwith on the said respondent who is named Carol Afegbai who shall appear before this panel following the order of this panel on the 9th day of December 2020.”
However, when the panel resumed hearing on Wednesday, Mrs Ehigiamusoe, a retired judge, told Jefferson Uwoghiren, counsel to the family of late Mr Momodu, that the panel had been served a court paper from the High Court restraining it from inviting Ms Afegbai.
Mrs Ehigiamusoe disclosed that the panel would honour the court’s restraining order to demonstrate to Nigerians that the panel has respect for the nation’s judiciary.
Reacting to the development, Mr Uwoghiren described the action of Ms Afegbai as an ambush.
Mr Uwoghiren asked why he was not served the court application.
Panel summons Edo police boss
Meanwhile, the panel on Wednesday ordered Johnson Kokumo, the state commissioner of police, and John Agaga, a superintendent of police, to appear before it for the alleged murder of five youth in Itsukwi in Etsako East Local Government Area of the state.
The officers are to appear before the panel on December 21.
Kami Asunogie, counsel to Chief U.K Yahaya and four others, told the panel that in less than five minutes, Mr Agaga allegedly killed five youth in the community on December 28, 2019, over a minor conflict between two neighbouring communities.
Mr Asunogie said, “The matter started on the 28 December 2019. An issue between two communities, brother and sister, named Imiakebu and Itsukwi in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo under the jurisdiction of the police station in Agenebode.
“The DPO, whoever invited him, came into the community, killed five youth under five minutes between 12:30 and 12:45 that he was in my village.
“He killed five youth, they died, he abandoned them, the military that were there had to take the bodies to the mortuary with the assistance of the people of our local community that he was intimidated by his presence. Up till today, every attempt to seek justice has been resisted by the police and just the police, particularly the DPO himself.”
He said they decided to approach the panel to ask the police to release the bodies of the dead to the family for burial and to also ask the government for compensation.
“We have come to this panel to seek justice. The bodies of our youth that were killed have to be released to us for burial. They have been in the morgue since December 2019. It is the DPO that is keeping them,” Mr Asunogie said.
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