Counsel to the police, Mr. Fidelis Ogobe has told the Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS and other Units of the Nigerian Police Force that they will not oppose the N5.2 billion claim by a petitioner, Ifechukwu Okolie, provided he can prove his case of unlawful arrest, detention and extra judicial killing beyond reasonable doubt.
The police lawyer noted that no amount of money can be enough for the loss of life of any individual even as he however prayed the panel members to use their discretion in the circumstances to decide what is just.
According to Ogobe, this became necessary owing to the fact that the complainant was not able to prove that those who abducted the victim were indeed Men of the Nigerian police force.
While concluding his defense, Ogwobe told the panel to hold that the petitioner’s counsel failed to link the alleged abduction of his father to extra-judicial killing, saying that it is settled in law that where there is no wrong there is no remedy.
Ifechukwu Okolie Iduh a complainant before the panel had asked to be compensated to the tune N5.2 billion for police brutality.
Mr. Okolie in his prayers before the panel demanded the police to compensate him with the sum of N100 million being compensation for all manner of in human and degrading treatment meted to his father, Paulinus Okolie Iduh while he was unlawfully detained for eight months by SARS Awkuzu in Anambra state.
The complainant is also demanding the sum of N100 million being compensation for the alleged malicious prosecution on which Paulinus was later discharged and acquitted.
Additionally, the complainant asked that the sum of N5 billion should be paid to him as compensation for the abduction and eventual extra judicial killing of his father.
In his testimony before the panel, the complainant narrated how his father, Paulinus Okolie Iduh, a freelance journalist, writer and proprietor of Gods Intervention Computer Secondary School, Azia, In Ihiala local government area of Anambra state was arrested in March 2013 by officers of the defunct SARS in Akwuzu.
According to the complainant, the victim was brutally tortured starved of food and water; adding that he was severally threatened with execution in order to extract information from him and for the victim to accept the allegation of kidnapping and robbery.
Narrating further, the complainant told the panel that he severally went to Akwuzu SARS where his father was kept to demand for bail but all efforts proved abortive he said.
Meanwhile, the complainant also noted that he was directed by the IPO in the matter to desist from coming to check on his father as he may be killed sooner or later having failed to avail the police of the truth.
However, the victim fell sick in the custody of police without adequate treatment and after spending eight months in police custody he was charged to court and remanded in Nkisi prison for four months and was later discharged and acquitted.
The complainant said afterwards, the victim was warned by the police on that fateful day and threatened before he (the complainant dropped his father at Azia junction in Ihaila LGA of Anambra state to board a vehicle to Abuja where he had secured an invitation with the National Assembly to unveil his book, “The Shame of a Nation”, which aims at exposing the activities of Akwuzu SARS, before he was abducted.
The matter has been adjourned for a report of the panel.