The Edo State Judicial Panel of Enquiry for victims of police brutality and related abuses on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Carol Afegbai, a retired chief superintendent of olice, for failing to appear before it.
Mrs Afegbai was expected to appear before the panel to explain her alleged complicity in the murder of Ibrahim Momodu, a 500 level student of the University of Benin, in 2015.
At the sitting on Tuesday in Benin City, the state capital, a member of the panel, identified as A.B Thomas, said that Mrs Afegbai, who was the Divisional Police Officer of Ogida Police Station when Momodu was killed, had no reason to be absent if she has nothing to hide.
The late Ibrahim Momodu was a 500 level student of the Faculty of Laboratory Science, University of Benin, when he was killed close to his family house at No 1, Igbobaewaye Street, off Siluko Road by Textile Mill junction.
Mr Thomas argued 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, but added that as it is now, she is a party to the case.
He said, “We had 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 the state versus the man who pulled the trigger.
“But before us here, she is a member of the party and if we just go ahead to conclude, my Lord, it will seem she is above the law. Therefore, we summon the Commissioner of Police to produce Mrs Carol Afegba before this panel.”
Ada Ehigiamusoe, a retired justice, who is the chairperson of the 22-member panel, ordered the immediate arrest of Mrs Afegbai and that she should be brought before the panel on December 9.
She said, “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 has failed to appear before the said panel, a warrant of arrest should be issued against her to appear before the said panel.
“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.”
Meanwhile, a lawyer, Abraham Oviawe, who is the counsel to one Solomon Obode, has prayed the panel to invite the police officers who were allegedly involved in the killing of Benson Obode.
He said he was afraid that the alleged killers may have escaped from the Oko Medium Correctional Centre and the Benin Maximum Correctional Centre along Sapele Road, Benin City after the jailbreaks during the #EndSARS protests in October.