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IIP-SARS: Why We Charged Petitioner To Court, Police Testifies

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***As Panel adjourns hearing on alleged extra judicial killing of one Yau Mai Atampa.

The Nigerian Police, Tuesday revealed that it has charged a Petitioner at the Independent Investigative Panel on human rights violations by defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian Police Force, to court for “falsehood”.

The petitioner is one Bashir Ahmed.

Making this revelation before the panel, the DPO Abdullahi Ishaq who is among the six people linked to the case of alleged threat to life, cruel inhumane, and degrading treatment of Bashir Ahmed, informed the panel that investigations into a complaint brought before his area command revealed that, the petitioner had misled the police.

Narrating further, Mr. Ahmed stated that the petitioner in his statement, provided the phone number of the police officer ( one Saleh) whom he claimed kidnapped and requested ransom from him.

“The telephone number has never worked since it was given till date”, the DPO stated.

According to the DPO, the petitioner also provided the account details of the police officer who had asked that the money meant for ransom be paid into his Diamond bank account.

In his words, the DPO stated that “we wrote an administrative letter to Diamond Bank requesting for the identity of the account holder, and a printout of his transactions from 1st January to July 2018”.

According to him, having access to this information would have helped in knowing if the account holder is indeed a police officer as alleged.

He however stated that the bank did not honor their request.

The pertitioner also alleged in his report to the police that the officers who kidnapped, extorted and maltreated him also drove in a police van with plate number NPF 343512.

Commenting on the above, the DPO noted that every police vehicle number had only four digits and ends with alphabets that can be directly linked to a department.

“It was on the grounds of conspiracy, defamation of character, false information meant to mislead that we charged Bashir to magistrate court Zaria where he was convicted”, the DPO stated.

In a petition before the 11 man fact-finding panel, Bashir Ahmed stated that he was arrested on the orders of an unknown Military officer on the 4th July 2018 by some police officers attached to the defunct SARS between Samaru- Shika hospital Sabon Gari Local Govt of Kaduna State.

Bashir told the panel that he was taken into the bush and flogged for ninety minutes. That an account number was given for him to pay into but was later paid in cash.

Counsel to the respondents, Malik D. Taiwo Esq closed his case before the panel.

Chino Obiagwu SAN, lead counsel to the panel, assisting the petitioner was directed by the chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima rtd to serve within one week, a written address to the police counsel.

Panel adjourned to December 13th, 2021 for adoption of written addresses.

In another case, the panel chairman Justice Sulieman Galadima (rtd) said that the panel will not move on from the alleged extra judicial killing of one Yau Mai Atampa.

Justice Galadima said this during the hearing on the matter when police counsel again fail to produce respondent in the petition. The Panel at the last adjourned date charged the police to ensure that respondents in the matter are present for the hearing at this sitting.

According to the jurist, it will be unfair for the panel to move on having heard such weighty allegations against the police.

Responding counsel to the police fidelis Ogbe advised the panel to give a written order to be submitted to the office of the CP legal who in turn will get in touch with the potiskum division and signal will be sent to the officers in question, officer salamatu of the potiskum division and two others to appear before the panel.

However, counsel to the complainant AO Ibrahim has told the panel that the matter has been slated for written address, he informed the panel that he has furnished the police with the information required to trace the officers but there was no cooperation on the side of the police, Ibrahim said two of the officers are at Damaturu Command while Salamatu is at the Potiskum division.

It will be recalled that the complainant was before the panel on the 19 of March and 5 of November 2021 on behalf of Alhaji Yau Mai Atampa,a businessman who deals with fabric.

He had a misunderstanding with his business partner Alhaji Shaibu mai Atampa over his indebtedness to the tune of 163 thousand naira.

According to the complainant in his petition the chairman of the market Alhaji Abbati Mohammed intervened and an agreement for installment payment was reached, Alhaji Yau now deceased made a deposit of 76 thousand naira leaving an outstanding of 99,000 in the process he lost his commercial vehicle.

Furthermore, he pleaded with the chairman of the market for the time to liquidate his debt but his business partner declined, Meanwhile, the Chairman of the market took clothes from Alhaji Yaus warehouse worth 1.7 million and all attempts to get it back by the deceased was unsuccessful.

Narrating further he said the market Chairman insisted the police be involved to resolve the matter and in the process, the deceased Alhaji Yau was slapped beaten and tortured by officer Salamatu at the potiskum police station.

The matter has been adjourned to 13 December for the details of Salamatu and two others to be submitted to the panel.

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