The Anambra State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Extra-Judicial Killings and other Related Matters has said it would invite Ex-governor, Peter Obi or anyone indicted by petitioners to appear before the panel and also give testimonies.
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Veronica Umeh was reacting to the testimony of a petitioner, Bonaventure Mokwe who had accused the former governor of rash actions following SARS reports.
Appearing before the panel, Bonaventure Mokwe claimed he was arrested and tortured by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and his hotel demolished by the governor over alleged involvement in kidnapping activities.
Mokwe filed a five-page petition to the panel and is also demanding a public apology from the state government for being branded a kidnaper and kept in SARS custody for 81 days without any charges against him.
During his testimony, Mokwe said he in SARS custody for three months and later became an insider, and also witnessed most of the gruesome killings perpetrated by the police unit, and was ready to open up on their operations.
“Since we are talking about SARS and all their atrocities, I think this panel can give me the opportunity to say most of the things I saw, which happened at SARS, just to help us unravel the level of destruction they were into.
“I stayed there long enough to know the workings of SARS and also where they derived their powers to act the way they did, especially SARS under James Nwafor.”
Chairman of the panel while addressing Mokwe said the panel had terms of reference and that asking the state to apologize to victims was not part of them.
She, however, asked the petitioner to file an additional petition covering other testimonies he intends to give about SARS operations while assuring that anyone who is indicted in a petition would be invited.
“We cannot entertain testimonies that are outside what you filed in your petition. If you want to file an addendum, we will give you time. Be rest assured that all the people you are mentioning would be duly invited by this panel,” Justice Umeh said.
Mokwe who later spoke to journalists related the incident that led to the demolition of his hotel said, “The whole thing was a setup. Somebody lodged in room 102 of my hotel and in the morning, SARS came and found a human skull in the room. I bet you that SARS didn’t come to check who the man was or how the skulls got there, they just came to uncover the planted exhibit and destroy the hotel because they did not ask for the name of the lodger who brought in the skull.