The Edo State Judicial Panel of Enquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses, on Tuesday, ordered the arrest of a retired Chief Superintended of Police (CSP), Carol Afegbai, for failing to appear before it to explain her alleged complicity in the murder of a 500-level student of University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ibrahim Momodu, in 2015.
At the resumed sitting of the panel on Tuesday, a member of the panel, named A. B. Thomas said that Afegbai who was at the time of the incident, the Divisional Police Officer of Ogida police station, had no right not to have appeared before the panel to explain her roles in the killing if she had nothing to hide from the public.
Thomas submitted that if the court had not tried her then when the case was first instituted, it was because she was not included in the suit, adding that now her name was mentioned in one of the petitions before the panel, she is now a party to the case.
“That we ordered her arrest and that she should be brought to this court here. If she was not arrested in the High Court, if she was not arrested in the Court of Appeal, it is because she was not a party it was state versus the man who pulled the trigger but before us here, she is a member to the party and if we just go ahead to conclude my Lord, it will seem she is above the law,” Thomas noted.
“Therefore, we summon the Commissioner of Police to produce Mrs Carol Afegba before this panel,” he pleaded.
In her ruling, chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (rtd), ordered the immediate arrest of Carol Afegbai.
“Earlier, the panel had summoned the respondent to appear before this panel in today’s proceedings and it is on record that she has failed to do so. It is of the view therefore of this panel that the respondent having failed to appear before the said panel, a warrant of arrest should be issued against her to appear before the said panel,” she ordered.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that a warrant of arrest be issued forthwith on the said respondent who is named Carol Afegbai who shall appear before this panel following the order of this panel on the 9th day of December 2020,” she said.
The late Ibrahim Momodu was a 500-level student of Faculty of Laboratory Science, the University of Benin at the time he was killed close to his family house at No 1, Igbobaewaye Street, off Siluko road by Textile Mill junction.
In a related development, a lawyer, Abraham Oviawe who is counsel to one Solomon Obode, has prayed the panel to invite the police officers who were allegedly involved in the killing of Benson Obode as the counsel feared that the alleged killers may have escaped from the Oko Correctional Centre and the Benin Maximum Correctional Centre along Sapele road, Benin City.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune