The Anambra Judicial Panel on Police Brutality and other Related Matters says it investigated 310 petitions received from residents of the state.
Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, a member representing the Coalition of Anambra Civil Society Organisations in the panel, disclosed this to journalists in Enugu on Thursday.
Ezekwueme, who is also the Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation in Anambra, said the number of cases investigated in the state remained the highest in any given state of the federation.
He also said that the panel was gradually winding down its activities, adding that it was currently at its findings re-verification and conclusion stage.
According to him, the panel is working meticulously to ensure it lives up to its mandate and terms of reference.
Ezekwueme said the panel was poised to present a “worthwhile report” and appropriate recommendation.
“The panel is on course. You are aware that we received 310 petitions, the highest in the country.
“The panel has heard, investigated and considered the entire 310 petitions and is currently making its findings and reaching conclusions.
“The retired Justice Veronica Umeh-led panel has vowed to do justice to all the petitions and complaints brought before it.
“It is committed to living up to its mandate,” Ezekwueme further said.
Recall that the 37-member panel was set up on Oct. 20, 2020 to look into the allegations of brutality and extra-judicial killings by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The panel was mandated to receive and investigate the complaints of police brutality relating to torture, high-handedness and extra-judicial killings by SARS and police in the state.
IPOB Members Attack Police Station In Imo State
Suspected IPOB Members have attacked a Police Station in Imo State
Confirming the reports to newsmen on Friday, the Imo State Police spokesman, CSP Michael Abattam said that suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) attacked a police station in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of the state.
Abattam stated that IPOB members attacked the station around 6.44 pm on Thursday with explosives, shooting sporadically to scare away the residents.
He stated that the gunmen arrived in the area in a convoy of five vehicles and three motorcycles, adding that one police officer was badly injured while properties were damaged in the attack.
Abbattam, however, disclosed that the police operatives attached to the station engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel which led to the gunmen fleeing the scene.
‘IPOB Members’ Attacked Police Station In Imo State
He disclosed that the Command’s tactical teams have been dispatched to the area in pursuit of the bandits and to beef up security in the area.
He said: “The suspected to be members of the IPOB/ESN terror group came to Isiala Mbano Police Station in about five vehicles and three motorcycles threw petrol bombs on the roof of the already damaged building in the Endsars imbroglio and started shooting indiscriminately.
“The police operatives attached to the station returned fire, engaging them in a gun duel. They were able to repel the bandits and in the process, they zoomed off in their vehicles and motorcycles.
“Due to the alertness of the police operatives, no arm was lost. The fire was extinguished not after causing some damages to the building.
“One of the police operatives who sustained gunshot injury was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.”
Italy-Bound Lady, Pregnant Woman, Fake Soldier Arrested For Drug Trafficking
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Sunday confirmed the arrest of a pregnant woman, a fake soldier and an Italy-bound lady for drug offenses.
NDLEA Director, Media, and Advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi, in a statement in Abuja, noted that the operatives had continued their nationwide “offensive action” against drug traffickers in the past week.
He said that the offensive had led to the seizing of hundreds of kilograms of illicit substances at the airports, courier firms, hideouts and the destruction of hectares of cannabis farms in remote forests.
According to him, attempts by a female passenger, Isesele Obehi, to export illicit drugs to Europe through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos, were aborted.
“One Emmanuel Omebere attempt at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to also export illicit drugs was thwarted by narcotic officers who arrested him shortly before he boarded his flight.
“Isesele was nabbed on Saturday, Sept. 11, during an outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight at Gate B departure hall of the Lagos airport on her way to Milan, Italy.
“She was with three hundred and twelve (312) sachets of Tramadol, weighing 1.5kg, concealed in crayfish and dried vegetables.
“Emmanuel was equally caught with 137.45 gms of the same drug concealed in foodstuff at the Abuja airport on Thursday 2nd Sept, during an outward clearance of a Turkish Airline flight to Istanbul, Turkey,” he said.
Babafemi said that in the same vein, efforts by desperate traffickers to export varying sizes of consignments containing cocaine, heroin and other illicit drugs through courier firms were also foiled.
He said that some of those included 475gms of heroin concealed in food items going to Canada; 202gms of cocaine hidden in body cream containers going to Australia.
The spokesperson added that 720gms of Cannabis Sativa tucked in computer hard drives, heading to the United Arab Emirates, UAE and another 2.1kg of cannabis hidden in body cream bottles going to Oman were seized.
He said that 60gms of cocaine concealed in degree certificates meant for Australia, was also seized from three courier firms in Lagos.
“Similarly, a 38-year-old pregnant woman, Kate Nwuju was arrested on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at her residence in Rumueme, Mile 4 area of Port Harcourt, with 4.5kg of cannabis, following intelligence that she sells drugs.
“Also, one Aliyu Saidu, suspected to be a fake soldier, was arrested with 2.3kg of Cannabis Sativa in a commercial bus from Lagos to Makurdi, on Monday, Sept. 13, at Aliade checkpoint, Benue.
“In Kano, one Shuaibu Yusuf was also arrested on Friday, Sept. 17, with 537kg of cannabis Sativa, concealed among bags of cement in a truck, while in Ogun state, five persons were arrested on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
“This was after their truck conveying 552kg cannabis was intercepted at Ogere Remo, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, ” he said.
The NDLEA also confirmed that narcotics officers on motorized patrol on Friday, Sept. 17, arrested a 21-year-old Law Ubi at Marian Road, Calabar, Cross River, with 67.4 kg cannabis.
Babafemi said that a follow-up search of his residence the following day, Saturday, Sept. 18, led to the recovery of 4.2gms of cocaine from his apartment.
The NDLEA spokesperson also said that operatives had stormed remote forests in Ovia North East area of Edo between Sept. 8th and 16th, destroyed over 14 hectares of cannabis farms, and recovered 172.6kg of cannabis.
He said that three females and male suspects were also arrested in raids across Owan East and Akoko Edo areas of the state
Human Rights Group Petition Police Over Harassment, Abduction Of Journalist
Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has furiously condemned and berated the reckless, unlawful, and provocative intimidation, harassment and threat of invasion and arrest of Mr. Adumonza Isiahomhen, an Online Journalist, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of OpenLife, by Police Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department of Ekiti State Police Command, led by one Ade.
The attempt of forceful invasion into Mr. Idumonza’s Office at Plot 7, Ilapo Estate, opposite AIT Alagbado, Lagos, on Friday 3rd September 2021 by Police Officers from the Ekiti State Command, Ado-Ekiti, following a story originated from an anonymous parent of a student of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, titled Afe Babalola University in Rumbles as Parents Complain of Fraud, published on Thursday, August 19, 2021, was a clear manifestation of the violation of the Journalist’s constitutionally guaranteed rights to privacy and freedom of expression and the Press, by the Officers of the Nigeria Police.
It was gathered on Friday, 3rd September 2021 that errant Police Officers, claim to be in possession of a purported petition but refused to inform the Journalist who the Petitioner is and they refused to avail the Journalist with a copy of the petition despite the request by the Journalist.
Apparently, the Officers are determined to get the Journalist arrested this weekend. Thus, without provocation and without justification, they had apparently attempted to invade the Lagos Office of the Online Journalist in search of him for his arrest.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade (Barr) Henry Ekine, made available to the Press, CDHR described the attempted invasion and unjustified threat of arrest of Comrade Idumonza as not only reckless but insensitive and callous.
Comrade Ekine, on behalf of the President, Comrade (Dr.) Osagie Obayuwana, the National Executive Committee, and members of CDHR expressed the commitment of the Organization to the protection and defense of Human Rights of all persons. Injury to one is an injury to all!
CDHR, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba Alkali, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, to swiftly intervene in this matter and ensure that the Journalist is not unjustly intimidated, harassed or arrested.
The Human Rights Group demanded that the Inspector General of Police must caution Police Officers and Personnel to uphold Citizens’ Rights. This case, just clearly reveals the disturbing level of insensitivity to the rights of citizens; it shows gross intolerance against matters of Human Rights and Civil Rights Activists by some Policemen and other security agents.
Comrade Ekine decried how Human Rights activists have become targets for harassment by some security agents. CDHR expressed worry over the level to which the respect for Human Rights in the country has degenerated and how some Policemen have become the enemies of the citizens; they have become the perpetrators of the violation of the Rights of innocent citizens.
The Police need to be more professional with the objective to promote and protect the rights of all citizens at all times; the right to freedom of expression and the Press remains a fundamental right and must be protected, especially by state agents in all circumstances. The Police must not be willing tools in the hands of people.
The foremost human rights group emphasized that the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as an amendment, as well as under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
If any individual or institution feels offended by a privileged or fair publication such individual is advised to approach the Court in a civil defamation action not to employ state actors to harass and intimidate citizens with threat of arrest. The state has the positive responsibility to ensure the protection of Citizens’ Rights.
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