A mild drama occurred on Tuesday at a sitting of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, when a petitioner accused police lead counsel of brutality against him.
The petitioner, Mr Okoliagu Abunike, who works as a litigation clerk, is an alleged victim of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
He accused Mr Joseph Eboseremem, a Police Inspector, of slapping him four times when he went to deliver a document at the Panti Police Station.
Abunike told the panel that he was shocked to see Eboseremem, who allegedly brutalised him, leading the police legal team which would cross-examine him over evidence he gave before the panel on October 27.
Eboseremem was not involved in the case Abunike had previously given evidence.
“Last year, he slapped me four times at Panti. I went to serve a court process on them. He slapped me and challenged me to slap him back if I had the guts.
“That is why I am surprised that he is here in my own situation again.
“The day it happened, their OC legal, Mrs Yetunde, came down to beg me, and she called my boss, Mr Ogungbeje, to beg.
“I told her that the only thing that will appease me is if this man would put his ears down so that I would slap him back but she said, `No’.
“My lord, this is how they operate,” Abunike said.
However, Eboseremem denied the allegation and told the panel that he had no prior issue with the petitioner.
“He has never mentioned that, he had no issue with me, I never knew him.
“I only knew him when he came to serve processes, I thought he was a bailiff of a court,” he said.
Abunike’s counsel, Mr Olalekan Gazali, informed the panel that a fresh petition covering the allegation would be filed before it.
“Our witness has said that he would file a petition against this man. We want to shelve it to another day,” he said.
The Chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, noted that Abunike’s complaint had not been filed before the panel.
“For now, the complaint is of no moment. This case is adjourned until Dec. 4,” she said.