Police Brutality: Panel recovers land title document seized by police

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 By Raphael Ekpang

The Independent Investigative Panel on allegations of Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian police force on Thursday in Abuja gave a landmark judgment in favour of a complainant.

The complainant, Mr. Gabriel Ofoma had approached the panel praying it to order the police to return certificate of occupancy of his land allegedly confiscated by officers of the CP monitoring Unit of the Nigerian police FCT Command.

Following the official hand over of the said document to the real owner, chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima said “there is an end to every litigation”, saying the matter has been put to an end and no more. 

The former Justice of Supreme Court of Nigeria commended the police for producing the land title document to the complainant.

Justice Suleiman stated that it is important to encourage a peaceful settlement in all matters, and expressed hope that the police will keep it up. “On this note the matter is concluded and closed”, the eminent Jurist stated.

Meanwhile, the complainant said he has nothing further against the police, stressing that he is no longer joining issues with the police again.

Ofoma said, his prayer before the panel was for the land title document to be produced and handed over to him, which the panel succeeded in doing therefore he said, “I hold no ill feeling against the police again.”

He confirmed that the controversy and dispute over the document was over since his prayer before the panel had been answered.

Meanwhile, Counsel to the police, DCP James Idachaba in his submission told the panel that the police were in the panel to assist it and complainants, explaining that they have been doing that and will continue to do the same.

 Idachaba said, police are not the owner of the title document.

He added that police are not in contention or disputing the fact of the matter, adding that the person being prosecuted for theft of the document is no more, emphasising that the IPO, Inspector Iliya in charge of the case, has returned the document to the owner.

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