Three odd weeks after its inauguration and lacking dedicated sitting venue, the Enugu State Police Brutality and Extra-Judicial Killings Panel commenced public sitting on the petitions submitted to it today, Monday, 16 November, 2020.
On October 21, 2020, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, inaugurated an 8-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry which was constituted by his administration to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality and/or related extrajudicial killings in the state.
At the hearing taking place at Court 3, the Chairman of the panel, Hon. Justice Kingsley Ude, rtd, agreed to the suggestion by Jude Ezegwui, the Chairman of Enugu Bar of the Nigerian Bar Association, that the list of all the cases and the table for hearing them be published to enable the petitioners to know when to appear before the panel.
Justice Ude, Rtd, also announced that 30 petitions has been received so far by the Enugu Division alone as they are yet to ascertain the numbers collected by other Divisions that are also accepting petitions.
He then announced that the panel will continue to accept the petition from the public until February, 2021 to give enough time.
Furthermore, the Chairman of the Panel said that since there was no dedicated Court for their sittings, they will be sitting on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Speaking to newsmen after the sitting of the panel that lasted for about 1 hour 30 minutes, the Enugu NBA Chairman, Barr. Ezegwui said that he suggested to the panel that “they should ensure that all the parties that are supposed to appear before them are properly served and given notices to those that submitted petitions, which the panel accepted.
“I also pleaded with the panel not to throw out any petition on the grounds of technicality, poor grammar or presentation.
The panel graciously agreed and assured that even if the petition is on one page or a half page, it will be entertained.”
“He also disclosed that the Lawyers in the state has a team of Lawyers coordinated by Barr. Nnadiume Awforkansi, Chairman Ezeagu Bar, dedicated to offering free legal services to anyone that may be requiring same.
He also expressed confidence on the panel stressing that the members of the panel are; “People of impeccable character and by the end of the day, I’m sure justice will be done.