The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), on Thursday, told the independent investigative panel on violation of human rights by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to dismiss with profound ignominy a petition filed before wit by one Bello Akubuokwu.
The police boss stated this through the police counsel, James Idachaba, in his final address in the Akubuokwu’s petition before the panel, marked 2020/IIP-SARS/ABJ/01, alleging threat to his life in which the IGP is the respondent.
Idachaba declared that the petitioner had woefully failed to prove the substance of the petition, adding that, “He has not been able to identify the cause of his injury not to talk of the source.”
He added that the petitioner’s entire testimony was predicated on speculation, thinking that it was only the Nigeria police that carried a gun.
“To hold the IGP responsible, he must be able to prove that he (petitioner) saw an agent of police firing gun,” the police counsel said.
He submitted that Akubuokwu relied heavily on the medical report admitted by the panel and marked Exhibit 7 by the panel, adding that the maker of the exhibit was not brought before the panel to prove that he treated the petitioner of the gun wound.
According to Idachaba, the police were able to prove that a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) was shot and killed by Shiite members during the clash in which the petitioner was allegedly shot.
Counsel for the panel, Chino Obiagwu SAN, had early urged the panel to grant the request for an award of compensation to Akubuokwu.
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However, while responding to Idachaba’s argument that the maker of the Exhibit 7 was not brought before the panel, the senior advocate urged the panel not to ignore the exhibit, saying that it was made by a consultant physician and was admitted when it was not objected to by the respondent’s counsel.
After listening to the addresses of parties, the panel adjourned till a later date, which would be communicated to parties, for its final report on the petition.
The petitioner had on November 16, 2020, told the panel that on July 22, 2019, he was hit by a strayed bullet fire by the police during a clash between police and Shiite members at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The bus dropped me before the appeal court. I moved towards the police headquarters. While I was going, the bullet hit me. I did not first understand what happened until I saw blood coming out (of my body).
“It was very pepperish. I saw people running and was told that Shiite members were protesting and police confronted them. It was then I realised it was a bullet that hit me,” Akubuokwu told the panel.
He informed that he was first taken to the Gatki General Hospital, where he said there were many people with wounds being attended to and as such was asked to go to the National Hospital, adding that he took a taxi there and saw a few people with a bullet wound and was admitted.
While being cross-examined by Idachaba, the petitioner said he did not go to any police station to report the incident, “based on my feeling that I lost confidence in the police.”
He said he did not see any policeman firing at him, saying that, “I had no problem with anybody or protesting against anybody to warrant shooting at me. That is why I said it was a strayed bullet.
He further informed that he spent a day at the National Hospital and paid his bills and was given a form for continuous treatment.