By Archibong Jeremiah
The police in Calabar today failed to arraign the eleven policemen who allegedly killed one Mr. Derek Maurice and five others extra judicially.
The dismissed policemen namely: Inspector Gershom Osotu, Inspector Erienekpe Fineman, Sgt. Anthony Idoko, Sgt. Anyim Gregory, Sgt. Lawrence Egbe, Sgt. Okili Akpokabowei, Cpl. Okey Oyama, Cpl. Unyime Jumbo, Cpl. Edidiong Jeremiah, Cpl. Atan Michael, and Cpl. Patrick Kokei, who have all been in detention since they were dismissed August 27, 2014 resisted attempts to move them from the cell into the vehicle that was to convey them to court.
Speaking to CrossRiverWatch at the court premises today, James Ibor, Esq, counsel to late Mr. Derek Maurice Ben family, expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Assistant Inspector General, AIG Zone 6 Calabar botched his own orders to sooth the suspects.
His words: “I think the AIG is deceiving us, something is wrong, the drama that took place today has compelled me to conclude that somebody has refused to do his work, somebody has compromised justice in the alter of fraud. We are considering bringing another mandamus to compel the state to arraign those murderous cops.
“I think the AIG is economical with the truth, it’s either he doesn’t know what he is doing or he has compromised this case. I feel they are waiting for the slightest opportunity to get these murderous cops off the hook. They have long concluded this investigation and it was based on that report made available to the Attorney General of Cross River State, Barrister Attah Ochinke that he recommended the persecution of the 14 police officers”
Having waited for hours for their arraignment in court where the charge against the dismissed policemen had already been filed to no avail, CrossRiverWatch contacted the police to find out what was delaying the arrival of the suspects in court. Our police source informed us that “the intended arraignment has been postponed due to the activities of the suspects in the cell. They threatened to harm any police man who enters the cell to get them out for the purpose of bringing them to court”.
Barrister James Ibor expressed shock that the suspects refused going to court where they would have the opportunity of being heard and get justice; “for them to resist going to court to get justice is amazing
that they as suspects in the police custody refused going to court, it’s strange.”
“I had expected that the AIG will enforce his orders, I don’t know why he was reluctant to enforce his order, the charge was registered and withdrawn because murderers and criminals said they are not coming to court, they are not laws unto themselves but subject to the provisions of our constitution which the AIG stands to defend, he the AIG has to enforce his orders by taking them to court now or later. The fact remains that they must stand trial, I have a lot of respect for the AIG, I have read and heard a lot about him, I don’t want to believe he is weak but that he has gone back to the drawing board to strategize”.
He ended by saying “If the families of the deceased don’t find justice, the society will be raising another Boko Haram, many people result to self violent help because the system has failed them, but I believe the system, the Nigerian Police Force will not fail us”.
When CrossRiverWatch contacted the AIG Zone 6 to know why the suspects were not arraigned again as he earlier ordered he said, “Nothing happened. The investigation is still ongoing contact the Public Relation Officer for more details”.
A total of fourteen policemen attached to the special anti robbery squad, SARS in Calabar were indicted by the report of the panel that investigated the killing. All of them were arrested and detained at Zone six headquarters. Eleven who are not senior officers were dismissed after the police orderly room trial while the three others who are senior officers were referred to the police headquarters for disciplinary but all the fourteen were in detention in Calabar.
But at the time of filing this report, impeccable police sources told us that the three senior officers (Supol Raphael Ewa, Supol Etim Anoke, DSP Horsefall Minafuro) have been moved from the Calabar detention facilities to Akwa Ibom in what is a prelude to “quietly let them off the hook by authorities from above.”
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