Nigeria’s Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations by the Defunct SARS and Other Units of the Nigerian Police Force has issued a warrant of arrest for CP Igbeh Ochogwu.
The Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations Committed by the disbanded SARS and other sections of the Nigeria Police Force has issued a warrant for the arrest of CP Igbeh Ochogwu, the Commissioner of Police in Charge of Legal Services at the Force Headquarters.
The arrest warrant is in connection with the Force’s alleged enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and imprisonment of one John Emeka Alozie since June 25, 2017.
Fatimah Mohammed, the Force Headquarters’ Deputy Director Public Affairs, disclosed this in an Abuja statement yesterday. She said the CP had been summoned on several occasions to appear before the panel with the victim’s casefile, but had failed to appear despite the petitions being adjourned five times to allow the CP sufficient time to comply.
Disappointed with the nasty outcome, the panel’s chairman, retired Justice Suleiman Galadima, who issued the arrest warrant for the senior police officer, stated that Ochogwu’s conduct was unworthy of a lawyer and police officer.
According to the prominent jurist, the panel’s only choice was to issue a warrant for the CP Legal’s arrest and for the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to write to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC, to report Ochogwu’s actions in the matter.
“The panel’s sole remaining option is to issue an arrest warrant for CP Legal and direct the National Human Rights Commission to write to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee to report Ochogwu’s behaviour in this matter,” Justice Galadima stated.
“The CP has flagrantly and repeatedly defied the panel’s order by refusing to send over the abovementioned casefile, so obstructing the panel’s ability to ascertain the truth concerning Alozie’s whereabouts in line with the law.”
He remarked that the CP had flagrantly and repeatedly defied the panel’s order by refusing to provide over the case file, which would have enabled the panel to ascertain the truth regarding Alozie’s location in line with the law, and deferred the matter till today.
The respondents in the case include ASP M. Obiozor of the former SARS in Awkuzu, Anambra; Uzi Emeana; Sunday Okpe, Commissioner of Police in Anambra; and the Inspector-General of Police.
According to NAN, the victim’s wife, Nnenna, testified that her husband’s case was heard and decided in a high court.
She stated that the court ordered that the victim and his seized items be released.
According to her, the police disobeyed the court’s order, prompting her to file her plea with the panel.
On Dec. 2, 2021, she testified that on June 15, 2017, six SARS officers raided their Lekki, Lagos, apartment and abducted her husband.
She stated that she subsequently discovered her husband had been detained for his claimed involvement in an abduction while searching for him and the cause for his imprisonment.
“I have not seen or known where my spouse is since the day they detained him.”
“After arresting my husband, the SARS agents raided our bedroom and stole several of our personal possessions, including certificates and other documents, money, and a Lexus and a Ford that were parked in our driveway,” she explained.