By Patrick Obia and Rachel Idim
Cross River State Judicial Panel on Police Brutality and Restitution has entertained testimony from a victim, adjourns to Thursday, 19 November, 2020.
The panel which is sitting in the Ministry of Justice, State Secretariat Calabar, commenced sitting 12 minutes behind schedule (10:12am) with six Policemen on guard; four inside and two at the entrance.
In his opening, the panel’s Chairman, Retired Justice Michael Edem apologized for starting late. He acknowledged the issue of jurisdiction raised in its inaugural sitting.
When it was time for testimony from the first victim, Mrs. Scholastica Ojeka, the Federal Government (Police) represented by Barr. Otu Ubangha, prayed that the panel should give them time to sort out the officers involved.
Haven prayed for more time, the Federal Government’s (Police) Counsel went on to ask that entertainment of testimony be adjourned because they were just served. But the Chairman objected and Mrs. Ojeka testified.
Before the Chairman ruled that testimonies can be entertained, Barrister Paul Ibiala, NBA Chairman, Calabar Branch prayed the panel to allow petitioners testify off camera for security reasons. His prayer was swiftly discarded reiterating that, petitioners are duly protected, anyone who threatens them will be charged for contempt.
Mrs. Ojeka said her restitution in monetary term should be to the tune of N500,000,000.00 (five hundred million naira only) accompanied with a public appology.
According to the Chairman, the adjournment is to enable Federal Government (Police) respond to all 54 petitions at once.
See pictures from the Friday, November 13, 2020 sitting exclusive to CrossRiverWatch below.