An Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations probing the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other units of the Nigerian Police Force has issued a warrant of arrest on the Commissioner of Police, Legal Services, Force Headquarters, Igbeh Ochogwu.
The panel on Monday issued the warrant of arrest against the CP for failure to appear before it to explain this role on the alleged unlawful arrest and disappearance of John Alozie since June 25, 2017.
Saying the CP on several occasions has been ordered to appear before the panel with Alozie’s case file but had so far refused to honour the summons, the panel Chairman, Retired Justice Suleiman Galadima, described Ochogwu’s attitude as unbecoming of a lawyer and police officer.
He said: ”The only option left for the panel is to issue a warrant of arrest on the CP Legal and mandate the National Human Rights Commission to write to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee to report Ochogwu’s conduct in the matter.
”The CP has flagrantly and repeatedly disobeyed the order of the panel, having refused to turn in the said case file to enable the panel to unravel the truth about the whereabouts of Alozie in accordance with the law.”
Galadima adjourned the petition till Wednesday for progress report.
It would be recalled that the victim’s wife, Nnnena, alleged arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance and detention of her husband by the police in a petition marked 2020/IIp-SARS/ABJ/73.
The respondents in the matter are ASP M. Obiozor of the defunct SARS, Awkuzu, Anambra; Uzi Emeana; Sunday Okpe, Anambra Commissioner of Police and the Inspector-General of Police.
Testifying before the panel, Nnenna said that her husband’s case was heard in a high court and judgment delivered.
She further testified that the court had ordered that the police should release the victim as well as his seized property.
She said the police refused to obey the order of the court and that prompted her filing this petition before the panel.
She continued: “On Dec. 2, 2021, six SARS operatives stormed our residence in Lekki, Lagos and later on June 15, 2017 they came again and whisked my husband away.
“I later got to know that my husband was arrested for his involvement in an alleged kidnapping after searching everywhere for my husband and the reason for his arrest.
“Since the day they arrested my husband, I have not seen him and I don’t know his whereabouts. After the SARS operatives arrested my husband, they ransacked our bedroom and went away with some of our personal belongings which include certificates and other documents, money, a Lexus and a Ford, parked in our house.”