By Patrick Obia and Rachel Idim
As the life of the Cross River State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality and Restitutions winds down, cracks are beginning to emerge between members over what some say is poor remuneration.
The panel last sat 43 days ago on March 4, 2021 when two petitions were struck out and fourteen adjourned for recommendations and continuation respectively.
The panel adjourned until Friday.
11 cases were on the Cause list to be heard today, but, the panel failed to sit with no information about the next sitting.
Petitioners, legal counsels, observers and journalists arrived the venue before 10:00AM only to be informed that there will be no sitting.
However, the panel’s Chairman, Justice Michael Edem (rtd) and another member, Rev. Fr. Bob Etta arrived moments later. A few others will join them with none disclosing the reason why the panel failed to sit.
When approached, the panel’s Registrar, Edem U. E told these reporters to, “write your name and phone number, we will get across to you after meeting.”
Several hours after, as at press time, there was no information, a situation that fueled speculation that financing was the challenge, a claim refuted by another member, Mr. Lawrence Christian while speaking to journalists days ago.
This means the adjournment is indefinite for now, a first for the panel which is noted to have adjourned off-record in the past (a phrase for adjourning sittings without entertaining any matter for the day).
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