A petitioner, Ibrahim Abubakar, on Tuesday, begged the independent investigative panel probing cases of police brutality in Abuja to help him to enforce a court judgement he obtained against the police.
The judgement delivered on March 3, 2021, by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, awarded damages against the police over alleged cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment meted out to the petitioner.
Represented by his counsel, Godspower Eroga, the complainant pleaded with the panel to help him to get the benefits of his judgement as awarded by the court.
The specific details of the court-awarded benefits were not given at the proceedings of the panel. The panel is generally called #EndSARS panel, being a product of last year’s anti-police brutality #EndSARS protest.
“We have made unsuccessful attempts to get the police to comply with the judgement of the High Court,” Mr Eroga told the panel on Tuesday.
Reacting to the development, Garba Tetengi, who presided over the panel in the absence of its chairperson, Suleiman Galadima, sought to know why the police had yet to honour the judgement.
Malik Taiwo, the respondents’ lawyer, said he was surprised that the matter, which had already been decided in favour of the petitioner, was still being entertained by the panel.
He also said the police had appealed against the judgement, and urged the panel to dismiss the petition.
When asked, Mr Taiwo was unable to produce the evidence of the filing of the appeal on Tuesday.
The panel refused to dismiss the petition. It asked Mr Taiwo to submit the evidence of the appeal to the panel.
It admitted the High Court judgment as exhibit ‘I’ and adjourned the case for a report on the appeal.
The petitioner, Mr Abubakar, had previously narrated to the panel how the police maltreated him in Abuja in May 2020.
“On May 19, 2020, at about 1 p.m., while waiting to observe the afternoon prayers with my family, I sighted a man who pointed a gun towards my father’s window. I was apprehensive and started running,” he said.
He said the police chased him up to 300 miles and eventually shot him on the leg.
Continuing, Mr Abubakar said he was arrested and taken to Guzape police station in Abuja.
He said, upon his release, he was taken to National Hospital Abuja where he underwent an orthopedic treatment and plastic surgery on his right arm.
The officer in charge of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Guzape police station, the Commissioner of Police, FCT, and the Inspector General of Police are the respondents.
The 11-man panel was set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in response to the demand by #EndSARS protesters during last year’s street demonstrations against the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and general acts of police brutality.
It is replicated in about 28 states, most of which have concluded sitting and submitted their reports.
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