The prosecution counsel in one of the cases at the Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutalities sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, Mrs Ngozi Ukwenyi has described the Nigeria Police currently facing several allegations of extra judicial killings that provoked the #End SARS in 2020 as not serious with the cases it is accused of at the panel.
The panel was set up by the Abia State government to look into the extra judicial killings by the Nigeria Police and make adequate recommendations to the government on how to end future occurrence.
The #End SARS Panel was similarly set up in all the 36 states of the federation.
In her address to the Panel on Tuesday during a matter between Chimaroke Nwogu and the Commissioner, Abia State, the counsel to the petitioner, Mrs Ukwenyi lamented that the continued absence of the defendant, the police, was frustrating the case, pointing out that the case may die a natural death if the defendant continued to be absent from the panel.
She therefore asked the panel to proceed with the matter on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, since the defendant had shown no interest in the continuation of the case.
In his submission, the defence counsel, Mr FC Okafor pleaded with the panel to adjourn the case to another date to enable him prepare adequately for the matter, stressing that he was trying to locate the police officer involved in the matter in order to properly present him to the panel.
Okafor assured of his readiness to produce the accused during the next sitting.
In her objection to the plea for the further adjournment of the case to a future date, Mrs Ukwenyi asked the panel to continue with the trial since the PW1 in the matter has been heard and cross examined in the previous sitting.
She maintained that the police have not taken the case with the seriousness it deserved, even as she blamed the panel for condoning the delay tactics of the defence.
The panel therefore adjourned further hearing till March 2, 2021, a new date for the continuation of the hearing.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.