SARS: Woman Weeps as Police Counsel’s Absence Stalls Paralysed Son’s Case Before Panel

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A woman on Tuesday wept before a Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry as the case of her 34-year-old son, Mr Ndukwe Ekekwe, who was allegedly paralysed by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), was adjourned for the second time due to absence of police counsel.

The woman, who did not mention her name, wept openly when the Chairman of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, adjourned the case.

She has been accompanying her son to the venue of the proceedings of the nine-man panel at Lekki, Lagos.

Ekekwe who is on a wheelchair had, on November 3, narrated to the panel the circumstances that allegedly led to his paralysis.

The trader alleged that he was arrested and thrown down from a two-storey building at the Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos, by officers of SARS.

According to him, he consequently sustained spinal injuries.

He had told the panel that SARS never told him the reason for his arrest.

On Tuesday, Okuwobi said the case had to be adjourned for the second time.

The adjournment was due to the absence of SARS counsel, Mr Emmanuel Eze.

“Again, here we are and he is not with us. Due to the petitioner’s condition, we should not be adjourning and adjourning. The lawyer (Eze) said he was ill but assured us that he would be here on Friday. I do not know how long it will take for us to prevail on the police so that we will be able to do our duties as a panel. We have over 110 petitioners as at today, and we need to do our assignment quickly”.

The chairman said Ezekwe’s case against SARS would be closed if SARS counsel would not be present on November 20.

The case of a second petitioner, Mr Olajide Fowotade, whose two front teeth were allegedly knocked out due to police brutality, was also adjourned due to Eze’s absence.

Ezekwe and Fowotade’s cases were both adjourned by the panel until November 20.

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