My son, arrested in 2019, not seen till date, petitioner tells Delta judicial panel

A complainant at the Delta State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into police brutality or related extra-judicial killings, Mr Christopher Ukpuru, on Monday, revealed that his 31-year old son who was arrested in August 2019 by the police has not been seen till date.

Speaking under cross-examination by his lawyer, Mr John Inyang, at the inaugural sitting of the panel in Asaba, the petitioner said that on August 8, 2019, he received a phone call from someone informing him of the arrest of his son, adding that he was whisked away before he arrived at the scene.

He said that on getting to the Police ‘A Divisional police station in Asaba, he met a po- liceman friend who told him on condition of anonymity about the incident, pointing out that he never knew his son to be a criminal.

The case was, however, adjourned till next week Tuesday to enable the policeman to testify in camera, even as his identity would be kept secret.

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Earlier, chairman of the eight-man panel, Justice Celestina Ogisi (retd), said sub- mission of petitions to the panel was not encouraging despite several advertorials calling for memoranda from interested members of the public.

She, therefore, called for the cooperation of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) branches in the state to make their services available on pro bono basis to victims who, in most cases, are indigent.

She pleaded that other civil society groups and non- governmental organisations could also step in and provide necessary assistance.

Justice Ogisi (retd) said the secretariat of the panel was still receiving memoranda from the public, add- ing that to make the panel easily accessible, petitions could be submitted through zonal offices of the ministry of justice in Warri, Effurun, Sapele, Agbor, Kwale, Ozoro and Ughelli.


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