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Panel orders CP’s arrest over alleged ‘disappearance’ of suspect

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A panel has issued a warrant of arrest against the Commissioner of Police, Legal Services, Force Headquarters, CP Igbeh Ochogwu, in respect of the alleged unlawful arrest and disappearance of John Alozie since June 25, 2017.

The Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other units of the Nigerian Police Force on Monday is investigating alleged violations of human rights.

The CP was on several occasions ordered to appear before the panel with Alozie’s case file but he had so far refused to honour the summons.

The panel Chairman, retired Justice Suleiman Galadima, who issued the arrest warrant, described Ochogwu’s attitude as unbecoming of a lawyer and police officer.

“The only option left for the panel is to issue a warrant of arrest on the CP Legal and mandate the National Human Rights Commission to write to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee to report Ochogwu’s conduct in the matter.

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“The CP has flagrantly and repeatedly disobeyed the order of the panel, having refused to turn in the said case file to enable the panel to unravel the truth about the whereabouts of Alozie in accordance with the law,’ he said.

Mr Galadima adjourned the petition until Wednesday for progress report.

The victim’s wife, Nnnena alleged arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance and detention of her husband by the police in a petition marked 2020/IIp-SARS/ABJ/73.

The respondents in the matter are ASP M. Obiozor of the defunct SARS Awkuzu, Anambra; Uzi Emeana; Sunday Okpe, Anambra Commissioner of Police and the Inspector-General of Police.

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Ms Nnenna in her testimony said that her husband’s case was heard in a high court and judgment delivered.

She added that the court ordered that the police should release the victim as well as his property seized.

According to her the police refused to obey the order of the court and that prompted her filing this petition before the panel.

On Dec. 2, 2021, in her testimony, she alleged that six SARS operatives stormed their residence in Lekki, Lagos, on June 15, 2017 and whisked her husband away.

She said that she later got to know that her husband was arrested for his involvement in an alleged kidnapping in the course of searching everywhere for her husband and the reason for his arrest.

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“Since the day they arrested my husband, I have not seen him and I don’t know his whereabouts.”

“After the SARS operatives arrested my husband, they ransacked our bedroom and went away with some of our personal belongings which include certificates and other documents, money,, a Lexus and a Ford, parked in our house,” she said.

On December 15, 2021 the panel summoned Ochogu to appear but he failed to do so.

The panel also on March 8, ordered Ochogwu to appear before it with the case file of a victim of enforced disappearance, Alozie.

NAN

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