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#EndSARS panel issues arrest warrant on commissioner of police


The Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations by the Nigeria Police Force's defunct SARS and other sections has issued an arrest warrant for CP Igbeh Ochogwu, the Commissioner of Police in Charge of Legal Services at the Force Headquarters.

The arrest warrant is in relation to one John Emeka Alozie's alleged enforced disappearance and unlawful arrest and custody by the Force since June 25, 2017.

Fatimah Mohammed, the Force Headquarters' Deputy Director Public Affairs, said in an Abuja statement yesterday that the CP had been summoned on several occasions to appear before the panel with the casefile of the victim (Alozie), but had failed to do so, despite the petitions being adjourned five times to give the CP more time to do so.

Disgusted by the nasty incident, panel chairman Justice Suleiman Galadima, retd, who issued the arrest warrant for the top police officer, said Ochogwu's behavior was unbecoming of a lawyer and police officer.

According to the eminent jurist, the only option left for the panel was to issue a warrant of arrest on the CP Legal and mandate the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to write to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC, to report Ochogwu’s conduct in the matter.

Justice Galadima said: "The only option left for the panel is to issue a warrant of arrest on the CP Legal and mandate the National Human Rights Commission to write to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee to report Ochogwu’s conduct in the matter.

"The CP has flagrantly and repeatedly disobeyed the order of the panel, having refused to turn in the said casefile to enable the panel to unravel the truth about the whereabouts of Alozie in accordance with the law."

He remarked that the CP had consistently defied the panel's orders by refusing to turn in the said case file, which would have allowed the panel to uncover the truth about Alozie's whereabouts in accordance with the law, and deferred the matter to today.

ASP M. Obiozor of the disbanded SARS, Awkuzu, Anambra; Uzi Emeana; Sunday Okpe, Anambra Commissioner of Police; and the Inspector-General of Police are the respondents in the case.

According to NAN, the victim's wife, Nnenna, testified that her husband's case was tried in a high court and a judgment was handed down.

She added that the court ordered that the police should release the victim as well as his seized property.

According to her, the police refused to obey the order of the court and that prompted her filing this petition before the panel.

On Dec. 2, 2021, in her testimony, she alleged that six SARS operatives stormed their residence in Lekki, Lagos, on June 15, 2017, and whisked her husband away.

She said she later got to know that her husband was arrested for his involvement in an alleged kidnapping in the course of searching everywhere for her husband and the reason for his arrest.

“Since the day they arrested my husband, I have not seen him and I don’t know his whereabouts.”

“After the SARS operatives arrested my husband, they ransacked our bedroom and went away with some of our personal belongings, which include certificates and other documents, money,, a Lexus and a Ford, parked in our house,” she said.


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