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Police must produce 3 officers allegedly linked to Ovoke’s death, IIP-SARS insists

Compels appearance of CSP Isa Hassan with hospital, mortuary documents

The IIP-SARS Thursday insisted that the police must obey its order to produce three officers who are allegedly linked to the extra-judicial killing of Ovoke Godwin Onomrerhino to enable it to unravel the circumstances of the victim’s death.

Similarly, the 11-Member panel chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd) reminded the police that the 1st respondent in the petition, CSP Isah Hassan has not been discharged as a witness since he is yet to furnish the panel with documents showing how Ovoke died in the hospital and how his body was subsequently deposited in the mortuary.

According to the panel, it is important for CSP Isah Hassan and the other three police officers namely, Sgt. Musa, Sgt. Lucky Kehinde and Sgt. Lucky Okuku to appear before the panel to clarify some issues in respect of the victim’s death.

In the light of the above, the panel directed the police legal team led by James Idachaba to ensure that the affected officers are brought before the panel on the 24th of November, 2021, being the next adjourned date.

Earlier before the adjournment, Counsel to the petitioner, Onome Juliet Okoroze told the panel that CSP has in his testimony stated that Sgt. Musa, Sgt. Lucky Kehinde and Sgt. Lucky Okuku were in the police vehicle when Ovoke (now deceased) jumped off and sustained serious injuries, which led to his death in the hospital in Delta state.

Continuing, she said that the panel was right to have ordered that CSP Isah Hassan should come back to the panel with the necessary documents to prove that Ovoke actually received treatment in the hospital courtesy of the police before he gave up the ghost.

She also aligned with the position of the panel that the necessary documents to show that the body of Ovoke was deposited in the mortuary after his death must be tendered before the panel to really establish how the victim died.

She reminded the panel that this would be the third time the panel adjourned the matter on the instance of the police, who she said are not taking the matter with the needed seriousness.

On the other hand, police legal team led by James Idachaba informed the panel that some of the officers needed at the panel were around shortly before the panel went on break in April.

In addition, he told the panel that police have been cooperating with the panel recalling that CSP Isah Hassan who left Abraka Police Division in Delta state was even traced and brought to the panel before he made his testimony.

It would be recalled that police allegedly arrested Ovoke over an armed robbery incident in Delta state.

The police also said that while they were investigating the case, Ovoke made an unsuccessful attempt to escape from their moving vehicle and got injured in the process, which later resulted in his death.

Other respondents in the petition are CSP Isah Hassan (DPO Abraka), Mr. Odiri Emeni, Head of Igun Vigilante, Ethiope East Local Government, Delta State, Commissioner of Police, Delta State, and Inspector General of Police.

In another petition, the panel directed the police to file and serve their written address to all parties within one week in respect of a case of alleged arbitrary detention, torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of Francis Ogbaji.

Before the matter was adjourned to 24th of November, 2021, counsel to the Complainant, Richard Obiano said that the matter was adjourned for defense and that the Complainant had closed his case earlier on.

In their response, counsel to the police, James Idachaba told the panel that ACP Mantu who is needed before the panel has been transferred from FCT Police Command to Rivers state Police Command as Commander Mopol 19, Port Harcourt, Rivers state. Besides, he said that he is currently on a national assignment in Anambra state, though he promised to make effort to reach him to do the needful.

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