The Lagos State Judicial panel hearing cases of victims on SARS abuses led by Justice Doris Okuwobi was forced to adjourn and strike out all cases on Tuesday owing to petitioners and witness absence.
The first hearing for the day was Mr. and Mrs. Obiechina against the disbanded Federal Anti Robbery Squad.
Justice Doris Okuwobi reserved her verdict on the matter and adjourned the case till Monday, 14th December.
Prior to her adjournment, counsel to the respondent, Nosa Whumwango clarified that the case was not against SARS but against the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Nosa then argued that two valid court judgments are on ground regarding the case and said the panel cannot re-open a matter two courts have decided.
Similarly, Mrs. Openiyi and Mr. Michael Openiyi her father-in-law further hearing was supposed to continue on Tuesday. Justice Okuwobi adjourned the case till 14-Dec-2020.
However, further argument from her counsel, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje who stated he won’t be available on the adjourned date made Justice Doris adjourn the case till Tuesday 15-Dec-2020.
The petitioner’s case was heard for the first time on Friday, November 27. Mrs. Openiyi testified that her late husband, Olusegun Openiyi was shot by SARS officers in 2007.
The case was adjourned as counsel to the police, Cyril Ejiofor, who has fact about her case arrived at the panel late. His colleague, Emmanuel Eze asked that the matter be stood down, however, Justice Okuwobi adjourned the hearing.
The panel chair said she had an important ceremony she has to attend later in the day and could not hoard cases for the day.
Another Hannah Olugbodi who petitioned that SARS stray bullet hit her leg and was adjourned on Saturday 28 November was again adjourned on Tuesday.
Her case was adjourned again as Cyril Ejiofor, counsel to the Police was not available when the case was to be heard.
Justice Doris adjourned the case for Monday, 14 December 2020.
Mr. Ndukwe Ekweke who petitioned that SARS brutalized him and pushed him off a two-storey- building has gotten a final adjournment date.
Ndukwe’s case was adjourned on 1st Dec 2020 because a police witness was not available to testify against the petitioner. Justice Okuwobi who was set to close the case gave a short adjournment date for 8th Dec 2020.
However, today Police counsel, Cyril Ejiofor said the witness very critical to the case is stuck in traffic and cannot make it to the hearing soon. Ejiofor said the witness departed Enugu last night to attend the hearing today.
Justice Okuwobi adjourned his case for Tuesday, 15 Dec 2020.
Mr. Olajide Fowotade, who petitioned SARS for torturing him and removing his tooth also had his case adjourned.
The petitioner who appeared without counsel had his case adjourned for Monday, 14th December as Police witness has not been served a summon to appear before the panel.
David Fadile, whose case was supposed to be the fifth case to be heard, was not present at the sitting. Justice Okuwobi adjourned the case for 14 December 2020.
Ifeanyi Nelson, a petitioner whose case was mentioned was also not present at the panel when he was called. Mr. Ejiofor, police counsel said the petitioner appears to have lost interest in the case.