The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Restitution and Inquiry set up to investigate cases of police brutality, especially involving officers of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), has summoned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammad Adamu, over a case involving one Adewale Adewuyi, a petitioner who is on a stretcher.
Debo Adeleke, the petitioner’s lawyer, alleged that the police have refused to release 26 acres of farmland seized from the petitioner since 2013.
Adeleke asked the panel to summon the IGP so that the police could be compelled to release the seized farmland.
The counsel told the panel that the police invaded the farmland located at Age-Mowo, near Badagry on December 17,2013 and destroyed it.
He said the destruction of his client’s farm made his health deteriorate to the extent that he could not move or feed himself.
Adeleke said a Federal High Court judgement in 2017 ordered the police to release the farmland and to negotiate with his client the amount to pay for damages and physical assault.
He said the police have refused to release the farmland or engage in alternative dispute resolution, despite efforts to compel them to do so.
Adeleke asked the panel to use its credibility to summon the IGP; the Commissioner of Police in charge of the legal department, force headquarters; Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Co-operative Police College, Ikeja, and other parties mentioned in the petition to compel them to release the farmland.
“That order is needed, although I’m not supposed to say this but this is a fact-finding panel, we need to summon the IGP, so that he can tell the Commissioner of Police to release this land to us. They are not using the land, it is just there.
“Everybody fears the Lagos State judicial panel on restitution. We will be grateful, if my lord will issue the order,” Adeleke said.
However, Counsel to the Police, Cyril Ejiofor, asked that he should be given two weeks to meet with the legal department so that the issue would be resolved.
The chairperson of the panel, Doris Okuwobi, ordered that the parties mentioned in the petition should be served summons.
The case was adjourned till March 30.