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Assault on Female Lawyer: WACOL Rejects Police Panel Report

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Enugu based non-governmental organization (NGO) the Women Aid Collective, WACOL, has rejected some portions of the report presented by the special Panel of Enquiry set up by the State Police Command to investigate recent alleged assault on a female lawyer and some other staff of the outfit  by  policemen in the state.

It would be recalled  that four policemen from the Abakpa Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force had allegedly invaded the WACOL office in Enugu and brutally assaulted some of the staff on duty, including a female lawyer, Mrs. Goodness Ibangah, who became unconscious as a result of the police action.

Following the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Abdurrahman constituted the special panel of enquiry headed by a senior police officer in the command.

The panel, had in its report presented Monday, said its investigations revealed  that the alleged beating was untrue, just as it claimed no WACOL property was damaged.

Executive Director of WACOL, Prof. Mrs. Joy Ezeilo, while who addressing newsmen on Wednesday at the organization’s headquarters in Enugu, stated that  the report contained contradictions.

She maintained that contrary to the claims of the report, Goodness was beaten to stupor by the policemen, adding that “the report contains contradictions between the testimonies, the findings and the recommendations.

According to Professor Ezeilo, who is the Dean, faculty of law University of Nigeria, UNN, Enugu campus, “We still maintain that our staff were brutalized; the panel cannot say they can’t find the damaged door.

“I said it as soon as the Panel was set that I wanted a National Panel, an independent panel; the police cannot be the judge, the jury and defence counsel in their own case,
you cannot be a judge in your own case.

Ezeilo added: “So, my appearance would not have made any difference; I actually went there and told the Panel that I have a petition which I had already written, they refused to collect it; they said I should submit it to the CP.

She said the Panel having admitted in their recommendations that the police officers should be sanctioned, “we want to know what the disciplinary action is, by now they ought to have been suspended.

“The deep corruption that led to the invasion of the WACOL office is yet to be investigated, the police were unduly and corruptly enriched, that is why they invaded the WACOL office.

“We need them suspended immediately. We will activate all channels available to us to get justice; we have not got justice.”

The WACOL boss, vowed not to rest on her oars, until the organization gets justice on the matter, stressing that she would explore all legitimate mechanism to make sure just is done in the   incident.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=50816

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