IIP-SARS Gives Abba Kyari’s Lawyer One More Chance, Adjourns Till 20th April To Take Petitions Against Him

By Bukar Bolori

The Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian Police Force (IIP-SARS) on Wednesday gave Abdullahi Haruna (SAN) who is counsel to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari one more chance to appear before it in respect of pending petitions involving the DCP.

Dr Garba Tetengi (SAN) gave this directive before adjourning till April 20th, 2022, a petition of alleged unlawful arrest and detention, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment brought against Abba Kyari and Inspector General of Police.

Tetengi (SAN) recalled that Abba Kyari’s lawyer had in his letter to the panel stated that he was briefed by his client to take over all the petitions involving him (Kyari).

He said that one week was earlier given Kyari’s lawyer to appear for his client to enable the panel find out the truth in several petitions where his name was mentioned as respondent.

The eminent panelist who represented the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd) said that following the said request by Barrister Haruna SAN the panel directed its Secretariat headed by Mr Hilary Ogbonna Esq. to obliged him with the necessary petitions and proceedings related thereto, thus he expressed surprised that the counsel was not present before the panel today (Wednesday 30th March, 2022.

The panel therefore gave Abba Kyari’s lawyer another opportunity to do the needful, since he was communicated to know that the matter would come up today and he needed to cross-examine the petitioner’s witnesses.

On that note, lead counsel to the Police, James Idachaba informed the panel that his team are no longer appearing for Abba Kyari in the petition saying that he now has a counsel in the person of Abdullahi Haruna (SAN).

“The Police legal team will henceforth be appearing for the IGP only in respect of this matter”, Idachaba added.

It would be recalled that some members of the families of the victims including Ismail Marungo and Blessing Choji had on the 3rd of March, 2022 prayed the panel for an order to compel the Police to release three victims, Yakubu Danjuma, Ibrahim Daniel and Choji Dung who were arrested and detained between the 13th and 17th of December, 2019.

However, till date, the Police is yet to release the said victims even as the victims family members alleged that there was a court order directing the Police to either release the three detainees immediately or charge them to court.

Against the foregoing and following the testimonies of some of the family members of the detained persons, the panel earlier ordered that the three victims be produced before it on the 11th of March, 2022 and that was not obeyed till date.

The petition was adjourned till 20th of April, 2022 for cross-examination and continuation of hearing.

In another development, the case file of the alleged unlawful detention, death in Police custody and extortion was admitted as exhibit before the IIP-SARS on Wednesday (30th of March, 2022).

The panel had earlier ordered the Police to produce the said case file containing their records of investigation of Samuel Adagbor (deceased) for alleged criminal conspiracy and human trafficking.

Inspector Sunday Sylvester had on 29th of March, 2022 testified before the panel that the victim, while he was alive reportedly dealt on human body parts which information led to his arrest, detention and investigation.

However, Gabriel Egbule, counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Peace Adagbo, had told the panel while cross-examining Inspector Sylvester that the deceased was a mortician and not a human parts dealer as alleged by the Police witness.

The panel gave the Police counsel and petitioner’s lawyer one day each to file their final written addresses addresses and also adjourned for report.

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