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Police brutality: WACOL expresses mixed feelings over panel report



The Founder of Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Prof. Joy Ezilo, has expressed mixed feelings over the report of the panel that investigated alleged police brutality on a member of staff of the organisation.

Ezilo made her feelings known on Wednesday, while reacting to the content of the report during a news briefing in Enugu.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the document was presented to the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Ahmad Abdulrrahaman.

It would be recalled that there was public outcry on January 30 over the alleged police invasion of WACOL’s office in Enugu and brutalisation of one Goodness Ibanga by four men, said to be police officers on illegal duty.

Following the development, Abdulrahaman on February 2 set up a panel to investigate the alleged invasion and complicity of the police officers.

The police officers were identified as SP Prisca Eze, Insp. Chinyere Akpodene, Insp. Michael Oligi and Sgt. Ezema Okwuchukwu.

The panel, headed by CSP Okey Ambrose, submitted its report to the police commissioner on February 24 and recommended that the officers be made to face full disciplinary measures.

However, Ezilo, who is also the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, said that the organisation was not satisfied with some portions of the report, which she described as vague.

She said that the panel should state in clear terms, the punishment that should be meted out to the officers for invading WACOL office and beating up its staff member.

“We appreciate the prompt response of the police commissioner in setting up the panel but we want to know the disciplinary action that will be taken against the officers.

“We are interested in this report. The indictment is very clear but we want to see action,” she said.

Ezilo said that WACOL would activate all channels available to it in order to get justice, adding that the police needed to get to the root cause of the invasion.

She said that it was gratifying that the panel confirmed that the affected police officers were on illegal duty.

“All we want is to end the impunity of police brutality. We want the state police command to unravel the deep-rooted corruption that led to the invasion. It has to be investigated.

“The panel also agreed that the invasion is associated with police undue interference in a rape case.

“Rape is a serious case and you cannot settle out of court as the police are intimidating and forcing the victim to do against her wish,” she said.

Ezilo said that her lack of confidence in the Nigeria police had made her request for an independent panel to investigate the incident.

“We had written to the Inspector General of Police and requested for an independent panel and the protection of the victims of this police brutality.

“It was an incontrovertible fact that Ibanga was beaten and her cell phone seized by the police officers.

“She spent several days on admission in the hospital and the panel could not get her testimony,” Ezilo said.

Edited By: Sam Oditah)

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Emma Acha: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

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April 2020