The panel set up to investigate police brutality in Akwa Ibom State has dismissed a petition filed against a member of the federal House of Representatives, Onofiok Luke.
Mr Luke represents Etinan Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State.
The petitioner, Emmanuel Udo, said security officials attached to Mr Luke had assaulted him in 2017 when he (Luke) was the speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
The panel, chaired by Ifiok Ukana, a retired judge, dismissed Mr Udo’s petition, Tuesday, on grounds that his case against Mr Luke was pending at the Court of Appeal, Calabar.
Mr Udo, a medical doctor, had gone on appeal after he lost at the Federal High Court, Uyo.
Besides the pendency of the case in the court, Mr Luke’s lawyer, Ekemini Udim, told the panel that it lacked the jurisdiction to look into a case that was already decided by a court.
The lawyer also told the court that the panel was set up to investigate police officers, “and not Nigerian citizens like Mr Luke.”
“Honourable Onofiok Luke is a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has never worked in the Nigeria Police Force and never intended to do so.
“The terms of reference of this Panel do not cover the investigation of petitions made against private citizens and the DSS (SSS) personnel mentioned in the petition is equally not a member of the Nigeria Police Force,” Mr Udim told the panel.
The petitioner, Mr Udo, told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday that he was dissatisfied with the panel’s ruling.
He said the panel was set up to help aggrieved Nigerians get justice they were unable to get through other means, including the law court.
“When I look at the circumstances that produced the first judgement and the content of the judgement, I feel there are certain things that are basically wrong with that judgement that will make pursuing the case at that level (appeal court) not to be a fulfilling venture.
“Look at when we were in the primary court, the police were joined in the suit, the police did not come, they did not send a report, they did not send a representation, and the judge overlooked that part totally,” Mr Udo said.
He said he was no longer interested in pursuing the case at the appeal court, even though he was not happy with the development.
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