The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters is yet to commence sitting, one hour and 41 minutes after its 10 am sitting,
The proceedings are being delayed by the police defence team’s absence. The police counsel is said to be held up in traffic.
Four petitions are slated for hearing today, all against the now disbanded Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS). The petitioners are Okolieagu Abunike, a lawyer Olukoya Ogungbeje, Mr Basil Chetal Ejiagwa and Francis Idum.
Abunike, Ejiagwa and Idum’s petitions were stalled last Tuesday following the police’s absence. The police counsel was said to be ill, but panel chairman emeritus Judge Doris Okuwobi said she had received assurances that the police counsel would be available today (Tuesday).
On October 27, Abunike, a father of five, told the panel that in 2012, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) operatives detained and tortured him for 47 days at their Ikeja office, without trial. Obunike alleged that the operatives also stole and sold his car, a Volkswagen bus, land, bags of cement, inverter and carted away all the possessions in his house.
He testified as the first petitioner since Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu set up the nine-member panel on October 15, following weeks of near nationwide #EndSARS protests.