By Bidon Mibzar, Abuja
Counsel to the police, DCP James Idachaba has cautioned the Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian police to be mindful of fraud stars that may take advantage of the panel to make money.
Idachaba made the submission during the hearing on the alleged threat to life brought before the panel by one Bello Akubuokwu against the Inspector General of police.
The complainant Bello Akubuokwu in his testimony before the panel said on the 22 of July 2020 on his way to his bank in area 11, Garki Abuja, he boarded a vehicle from his residence in Mararaba and alighted close to the court of Appeal intending to board another vehicle to Garki, the location of his bank in Abuja.
Bello said he had to walk towards the force headquarters, to enable him to get to the next bus stop. Unknown to him there was an altercation between the Nigerian Police and the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (shittes), by the force headquarters, this resulted to the use of firearm, unfortunately, he was hit by a stray bullet on his left hand.
According to Bello, he was taken to the National Hospital after being rejected by Garki hospital for treatment.
He is seeking compensation for the cost of his treatment, inconveniences, and loss of his phone including the pain he suffered.
Responding on behalf of the Inspector General of police, Idachaba stated that the complainant has failed to establish any proof because he did not identify the source of his injury in his testimony before the panel.
Idachaba said, it is not only the police that bears arms, therefore he must clearly identify that he saw a policeman who is responsible for the injury he is alleging, “he must be able to establish that the injury was caused by gunshot of the police Idachaba”. Idachaba further stated that an expert was not brought before the panel, and no witness has also established that they witness a gunshot by the police.
Therefore the complainant is only wishfully thinking and speculating about his case before the panel, Idachaba added.
Similarly, the police counsel stated that unlike the complainant, the police have established an exhibit that a deputy commissioner of police was shot on that fateful day, which implies that it is not only the police that bear arms, “so the panel cannot base its decision on this” Idachaba added.
Counsel to the commission Chino Obiagwu SAN insisted the panel has been furnished with documentary evidence from a consultant surgeon of the National Hospital which the complainant presented as strong evidence. The case was however adjourned to a future date to be communicated to the parties.