Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The Enugu State Police Brutality and Extra-Judicial Killings Panel yesterday commenced public sitting with 30 petitions from the Enugu Division.
Chairman of the Panel, Justice Kingsley Ude (Rtd.) said the panel was yet to ascertain the number of petitions so far collected at the other nine Zonal Judiciary Offices.
The offices where petitions were submitted are Nsukka High Court; Ogbede High Court; Obollo Afor High Court; Oji River High Court; Ezeagu High Court; Udi High Court; Awgu High Court; Agbani High Court and Enugu Ezike High Court.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had on October 21inaugurated the eight-man Judicial Panel to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality and/or related extra judicial killings in the state.
At the commencement of sitting of the panel at Old High Court 3, the Chairman Justice Ude (Rtd) conceded to the to the suggestion by the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Enugu State branch, Jude Ezegwi that the list of all the cases and the table for hearing them be published to enable the petitioners know when to appear before the panel.
He however, announced that the panel would continue to accept petitions from the public until February, 2021 so as to give enough time for the people to exercise their right of complain.
Ude also stated that since there was no dedicated Court for the sittings of the panel, it would be sitting on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
On contribution of the Bar, the NMA Enugu Chairman, Ezegwi to newsmen shortly after the sitting that lasted about one and half hours, that he also suggested to the panel to “Ensure that all the parties that are supposed to appear before them are properly served and give notices to those that submitted petitions.
“I also pleaded with the panel not to throw out any petition on the grounds of technicality, poor grammar or presentation. The panel graciously agreed and assured that even if the petition is on one page or half page, it will be entertained.”
The NBA boss while expressing confidence on the panel, disclosed that lawyers in the state have a team of Lawyers coordinated by Barr. Nnadiume Awforkansi (Chairman Ezeagu Bar) dedicated to offer free legal services to anyone that maybe requiring same.