The Abia State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on Police Brutality, Extra-Judicial Killings and Other Related Matters has assured that it would accord fair hearing to all petitioners and treat all petitions with fairness.
Chairman of the Panel, Rt. Hon. Justice Sunday Imo gave the assurance while delivering his address during the inaugural sitting of the Panel at the Aguiyi-Ironsi Conference Hall, Umuahia on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Justice Imo thanked the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D for taking the bold initiative to set up the Panel. He assured that, in line with its terms of reference, the Panel would be thorough in its processes, protect all petitioners and grant fair hearing to all parties.
Also speaking during the brief ceremony, Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Umuahia branch, Barrister Oliver Amuzie, who spoke on behalf of the Abia Bar comprising of Aba, Umuahia, Isiala Ngwa, Ohafia and Ukwa Branches of the NBA, commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for setting up the Panel and expressed confidence that the Panel would discharge its duties creditably well. He informed that the Abia NBA would give pro bono services to any petitioner who is unable to afford legal services during the proceedings of the Panel.
In their respective remarks during the event, representative of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abia State Chapter, Comrade Boniface Okoro; President of the National Council of Womenâ€™s Societies, Nigeria (NCWS) Abia State Chapter, Mrs, Nwaigwe Eunice; representative of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Abia State, Comrade Irobueke Prince; and the Officer-in-Charge of Legal Matters, Abia State Police Command, SUPOL Stanley Ofoegbu, all commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for constituting the Panel and expressed faith in the ability of the Panel to do justice to the issues brought before it.
The Panel then commenced hearing on four initial matters on its case list. All four matters were later adjourned to November 18, 2020, while the Panel sitting was adjourned to November 11, 2020 for other cases.
The Panel Secretariat, through its Media Publicity coordinator, Eric Ikwuagwu, informed that it has so far received a total of 44 submissions, including petitions.