23rd February, 2021
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State government to investigate the October 2020 Lekki shooting and other cases of police brutality by the disbanded Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) has summoned the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to appear before it.
Adamu was on Tuesday, Feb 23, 201 ordered to appear before the panel to answer questions concerning a petition which was filed before the panel.
Doris Okuwobi, head of the judicial panel, gave this order following the prayer of Debo Adewale, the counsel to the petitioner, that the IGP be summoned.
The petitioner, Adewale Adewuyi, was carried into the venue of the panel by three men.
Debo Adeleke, the petitioner’s lawyer, alleged that the police have refused to release 26 acres of farmland seized from the petitioner since 2013.
Adeleke asked the panel to summon the IGP so that the police could be compelled to release the seized farmland.
He told the panel that the police invaded the farmland located at Age-Mowo near Badagry on December 17, 2013, and destroyed it.
He said the destruction of his client’s farm made his health deteriorate to the extent that he could not move or feed himself.
Adeleke said a federal court judgment in 2017 ordered the police to release the farmland and to negotiate with his client the amount to pay for damages and physical assault.
He said the police have refused to release the farmland or engage in alternative dispute resolution, despite efforts to compel them to do so.
Adeleke asked the panel to use its credibility to summon the IGP, the commissioner of police in charge of the legal department, force headquarters, assistant inspector-general of police, co-operative police college, Ikeja, and other parties mentioned in the petition to compel them to release the farmland.
“That order is needed, although I’m not supposed to say this but this is a fact-finding panel, we need to summon the IGP, so that he can tell the commissioner of police to release this land to us. They are not using the law, it is just there,” he said.
“Everybody fears the Lagos state judicial panel on restitution. We will be grateful if my lord will issue the order.”
However, Cyril Ejiofor, police counsel, asked that he should be given two weeks to meet with the legal department so that the issue will be resolved.
Doris Okuwobi, chairperson of the panel, ordered that the parties mentioned in the petition should be served summons.
The case was adjourned till March 30.