Police Brutality: Panel receives 92 petitions in Akwa Ibom
The Judicial Panel of Investigation set up by the Akwa Ibom government to unravel police brutality and rights abuses has so far received 92 petitions.
The panel which began sitting Monday after a long adjournment following its inauguration has heard pathetic cases of police brutality and human rights violation in the state.
Mfon Edemekong, secretary of the panel made this known at the resumed sitting of the panel taking place at the state high court in Uyo, the state capital.
It was a stunning revelation by counsels to the victims how one Alade Jonathan Farojoye – a fisherman and pastor with Deeper Life Bible Church was allegedly killed by the police at Iwoukpom, Ibeno Local Government Area of the state.
The panel also heard one Augustine Effiong, a taxi driver was killed by men of Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS.
Until his arrest and subsequent death in police custody, he used to ply Uyo- Eket in his taxi cap.
More shocking and pathetic as revealed at the Panel, is the fact that corpses of both Farojoye who was killed in September 2017, and Effiong who was killed in October 2019 are yet to be released to their family for burial despite several appeals to the police.
Other cases at the opening day of the sitting were petitions from Obong Paul Etim Ekpo, Beautrice Abosede Osaniya, Esara Victor Umoh, among others.
A total of 8 petitions were mentioned at the resumed sitting.
Speaking at the opening of the sitting, Chairman of the Panel, Justice Ifiok Ukana restated that the Panel is determined to ensure that there is fair hearing to all parties involved
According to him, the Panel will make recommendations to the State Government and where necessary direct the State Attorney General to ensure that those culpable are prosecuted and compensation given beyond money.
He has promised an accelerated hearing of all petitions.
Meanwhile, the Panel has ordered that copies of the petition be served on all parties involved while summons has also been issued to them to appear before it.
Also, the Panel has graciously extended time for the submission of memoranda for another 7days beginning from Tuesday, November 17 in the interest of justice.
It has urged members of the public to make use of the extension and submit their petition. So far a total of 92 petitions have been received by the Panel.