Rivers Judicial Commission of Inquiry ends sitting, strikes out 76 petitions

Tina Amanda

The Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate acts of violence, torture, brutality, murder and violation of fundamental rights of citizens committed by Officers, men and operatives of the Nigerian Police Force, has ended its sitting in Port Harcourt.

The Commission which was inaugurated on 22nd October, 2020, by Governor Nyesom Wike, with the mandate to investigate Police brutality and make adequate recommendations to the state government entertained a total of one hundred and eighty-seven (187) petitions, struck out seventy-six (76) petitions and ninety-four (94) petitions concluded and slated for conference.

One Kingsley Uchendu who testified before the hearing on petitions came to a close, told the Commission that he is not interested in monetary compensation but the arrest and prosecution of the police officer by name Edel Etuk that shot his brother Honesty Uchendu to death around Rumuodara axis of the East West Road, on 2nd April, 2012.

He told the panel that his life was under serious threat while seeking justice for his late brother who was a Bank Manager as at then.

“That, night Some Police Officers stopped my brother as if they wanted to conduct stop and search on his vehicle, they asked him to put on his inner light, he turned on the car light and there was a car behind flashing him. They asked him to wind down and bring out his particulars. As he bent to bring the papers, they shot him. He immediately drove the car to a distance in that state and fell into the gutter but the officers chased after him, shot him severally which led to his death instantly.

“I reported the matter to the Police Command and the officer who committed the murder was arrested, kept in custody for two-three weeks. I started receiving series of threat from different people and my mother told me to pack out from where I live. I had to relocate because at a point, some gunmen traced me home.

“All I want is Justice. Since that 2012 till date, I have not heard anything about the matter from Police, I don’t know if the officer that killed my brother is alive or dead. I just want the officer to be prosecuted, I want him to be jailed for sending Honesty Uchendu who was a Bank Manager to an early grave”

Also, Dr. Lucky Legborsi-Nwidu of the Department of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology in University of Port Harcourt demanded one hundred million naira compensation and apologies from Nigeria Police.

Dr. Legborsi-Nwidu who appeared before the panel in defence of his petition said he was arrested and detained unlawfully by Operatives of the Nigerian Police during the COVID 19 lockdown in April 2020, while discharging his essential duty as a health personnel.

He told the panel that despite presenting his papers and approval from the Ministry of Health, Rivers State to operate as a Pharmacist during Covid-19 lockdown, the police went ahead to unlawfully arrest and detain him for hours, thereby, exposing him to contracting COVID 19 inside the Police cell.