DELTA, Nigeria – There was a mild drama at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police brutality in Delta State when a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP Anietie Eyoh appeared before it.
During Eyoh’s appearance, a Counsel to the Police, DSP. SB Irabor urged a member of the panel, Mr. Gwamnishu Emefiena Harrison to excuse himself from the panel.
The Police Counsel said Harrison who had been arrested in times past cannot sit as a member to hear a case involving CSP Anietie Eyoh.
In a remark, the Chairman of the Judicial Panel, Justice Celestina Ogisi Rtd, urged the Police lawyer to take his petition to the Delta State Governor, Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa.
She said, “None of us here were appointed by ourselves. The Governor appointed us into this panel.”
Justice Ogisi also threatened to take the Police lawyer in contempt. “I know you’re a policeman. I will take you to the right place. Even if you’re the Inspector General of Police, you cannot. You have no right. You have made it a personal matter.
“If the governor disqualifies Harrison, then, he has to disqualify all of us in this panel for being biased. Write to the governor, we have no authority to entertain it here.”
Justice Ogisi also added that whatever Harrison may have had with CSP Anietie Eyoh or any other, he did the same as a human right activist pointing out that he(Harrison) is a member of the panel by virtue that he is a human rights activist.
The Secretary of the Judicial Panel and Solicitor General of the Ministry of Justice in Delta State, Mr.Omamuzo Erebe told the Police lawyer that the panel will take the matter up with the Commissioner of Police.
Erebe who was very bitter over the manner the Police lawyer presented the matter said “You’re playing to the gallery.”
A member of the Panel, Kelvin Ejumudo told the Police lawyer to go ahead with his case if he had any and stop casting blames on members of the panel.
At the time of filing this report, the Panel was still hearing one of the matters against the Police Chief.
Mr. Gwamnishu Emefiena Harrison is the Coordinator of Behind Bars Human Rights Initiative.
A human right activist, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi Esq in a chat with newsmen said the cases he is handling against CSP Anietie Eyoh were not personal.
According to him, “When I came in this morning, we greeted each other. You have to leave everything open and not take it personal.”