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#EndSARS: FCT panel summons Cross River police commissioner over ‘shooting of resident’

#EndSARS: FCT panel summons Cross River police commissioner over ‘shooting of resident’
February 09
20:32 2021

The Abuja judicial panel established to probe brutality and human rights abuses of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) and other units of the force, has ordered Sikiru Akande, Cross River commissioner of police, to appear before it.

The police commissioner has been summoned to answer to allegations against the force regarding the death of Emmanuel Ita Ephraim, a resident of Cross River.

In a petition submitted to the panel, Ephraim’s family had accused the police of killing their son, whom they described as mentally unstable.

Paul Offiong Ephraim, brother to the deceased, on November 30, 2020, had told the panel that his brother was shot by operatives of Operation Skolombo on June 17, 2017, in Calabar, the Cross River capital.

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Operation Skolombo is a security outfit established by the Cross River government to maintain peace and order across the state. It comprises officers of the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the navy.

However, the police have denied its involvement in the death of the Ephraim.

Under cross-examination, Kabiru Salisu, an assistant commissioner of police (the fourth respondent), had told the panel that the command’s personnel were not part of Operation Skolombo on the day Ephraim was killed.

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He, however, said the police believed that the victim was an armed robber, who was shot dead during Operation Skolombo’s patrol on the said date.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the 11-member panel, led by Suleiman Galadima, a former justice of the supreme court, directed the state commissioner of police to appear at the next hearing.

The panel has also requested the presence of Marcus Joe, an assistant superintendent of police, following his alleged role in depositing the body of the deceased at the general hospital mortuary in Calabar.

The panel also directed that certified true copies of the police station’s crime diary, where the movement of the deceased’s body was documented after he was allegedly killed, be presented to the panel.

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The case has been adjourned till February 25, 2021, for continuation.

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