Human RightsNews

Panel Summons 2 SPACS Personnel Over Illegal Detention Of Teenager

The Judicial Panel of Inquiry (JPI) sitting Awka has summoned two operatives of Special Anti- Cult Squad (SPAC) Enugu-Ukwu, Anambra Southeast Nigeria over illegal detention of 15-year-old Kodili Okeke.

The summon followed the hearing of the petition filed by Peter Okeke, father of the victim against the arrest and illegal detention of his son Kodili.

The summoned officers were Andy Igbo, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and John Ejem, an Inspector.

Okeke told journalists after appearing before the panel, that Kodili was arrested in the early morning of September 10, 2020, by men who identified themselves as officers from SPACS Enugu-Ukwu.

He said the officers refused to tell him the crime committed by his son but asked him to come to their office.
According to him, the policemen demanded the sum of N100, 000 to secure the bail of his son.

“I told them, I don’t have much because I had just concluded the burial of my wife who died at about that time,” Okeke said.

“I was there for the whole day begging but the Investigating Police Officer was adamant, they ignored me until night when they took him back to the cell,” he added.
Okeke said his son was charged to court the following day and tried without a defence counsel after which he was remanded.

He said his son suffered a serious illness which he spent so much money to treat.

N.A.Onyewuchi, counsel to the petitioner after his argument prayed the panel to summon the officers involved to come and defend themselves on the allegations against them since they were still in service.

Innocent Obi, the legal representative of the police did not object to the application.

Justice Veronica Obi, Chairman of the panel granted the prayer and adjourned the matter to January 19 for the conclusion.

Meanwhile, the crowd at the Anambra JPI was disappointed as the much-expected appearance of James Nwafor, the former commander at the notorious Awkuzu SARS did not hold.

Nwafor was billed to appear before the panel on Thursday to clear himself against the myriad of allegations of supervising illegal arrest, detention, torture, maiming and extrajudicial killings by Awkuzu SARS under his watch as commander.

Petitioners and members of the public had besieged the venue to see the former SARS commander and hear from him but they went back home disappointed as he failed to show up.

Abdul Mahmoud, a human rights lawyer upon whose prayer the summon was made said he had closed all his case.

Mahmud who was handling about five petitions in the panel said he could not go further since those accused of extrajudicial killings and brutality have refused to honour the panel in view of the fact that the panel cannot forcefully bring the accused to the panel based on its terms of reference.

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