By Patrick Obia and Rachel Idim
Proceedings of the Cross River State prob panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality and Restitution, was today (Monday 21, December 2020) was truncated over prolonged argument over what the panel called “emotional sentiments”.
The disagreement ensued between the panel members and the Police when the first matter out of fifteen mapped for the day was on. When asked to respond to the petition, the Police lead representative, Dennis Tehemba, reminded the panel about the demise of the State Commissioner of Police and asked to be excused.
Tehemba noted that since he was among those closer to the late CP and still in shock hence, he is not in the right state of mind to respond to petitions.
“I cannot even record words because I cannot continue in today’s matters. I am not in good state of mind to attend to today’s matters.” He said, disclosing that the late CP was buried on Saturday at about 2:50pm according to Islamic rites, calling on the Chairman of the panel to adjourn all matters.
Though he did not say if he was going into isolation as a COVID-19 protocol for those closer to the late CP who died of the dreaded virus.
Reacting to the Polices’ plea, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Michael Edem (retired) implored Tehember to be reasonable enough in his excuses adding that “the dead should bury the dead and the living continue with his job” as these “are sentiments and emotions”.
After listening to the Chairman and the Police argue over emotions and sentiments for about an hour, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chairman, Calabar branch, Dr. Paul Ebiala, said the proceedings is becoming childish and the normal culture is diminishing.
However, the panel which started 40 minutes behind schedule, attended to 4 petitions out of 15 that was in the log, then adjourned all matters to the next day, Tuesday, 22 December, 2020 for defense as the Police representatives were visibly eager to leave.
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