According to Daily Trust, a melodrama occurred weekend at the sitting of the Benue State Judicial panel looking into human rights violations by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) recently.
The drama occurred when Secretary of the panel, Barr Edward Yange, took on the position of a victim to narrate his ordeal in the hands of police.
Yange, a lead counsel to the panel and a Deputy Director, Legal Drafting with the Benue State Ministry of Justice, had vacated his seat during the sitting to describe how he was tortured over 13 years ago.
He told the panel that policemen from ‘D’ Division Police Station in Makurdi had on October 5, 2007, accosted a commercial motorcyclist who conveyed him as a passenger on his way to the motor park from where he intended to board a vehicle to his destination.
He explained that on reaching Makurdi Modern Market gate, the motorcycle rider rode against traffic and was arrested by the police who in the process whipped him (Yange) instead, with a horsewhip popularly known as koboko, arrested him and took him to the station but allowed the motorcycle rider who committed the offence to escape.
Yange added that despite he introduced himself and showed his identity card to the policemen, they became more aggressive as they whipped him the more, causing him more injuries on his neck, which he showed to the then DPO and later reported the matter to the then Commissioner of Police who did nothing.
He further explained that the failure of the police to address the matter made him sought relief from the court and got judgment in his favour with a judgment sum of N500,000 awarded to him, which the police till date failed to redeem, hence his decision to bring the matter to the panel.
But, Counsel to the Police, SP F.N Agwu, swiftly objected to the presentation of the matter as according to him, it is illegal and will amount to injustice if the panel litigates on a matter that involves a member of the panel.
However, Counsel to Yange, O.M Eche, argued in line with the panel’s guidelines that the victim is only a secretary to the panel and not a member and therefore urged the panel to discountenance the objection raised by counsel to the police.
Meanwhile, the objection was overruled by the panel headed by a former Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adah Onum.
The matter has been adjourned to the 26th January 26, 2021 for further mention.