Panel orders Police to produce victim who ‘disappeared’ after arrest by IGP team

The Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations by defunct Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) on Monday ordered the Police to produce Morris Ashwe, a victim of alleged ”enforced disappearance” unfailingly by Feb. 24

Ashwe’s brother, Raphael Ushahemba Ashwe, had laid a petition to the panel, alleging Morris’ enforced disappearance against the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Benue State and the IGP.

Raphael told the panel that his brother was arrested by the IRT in Makurdi on May 1, 2018, adding that the family initially had access to his brother while he was being detained in the Benue State capital.

“On being moved to Abuja after he was paraded in Makurdi, the family no longer had access to Morris,” he added that his brother was moved to Abuja two days after the parade.

He said that the family had made several attempts with a view to seeing him but all to no avail, as the whereabouts of his elder brother still remains unknown.

“He was paraded on the May 8, before being taken away to Abuja two days after. We have made several efforts to reach him which proved abortive.

“Since then, we have made efforts through appeals, pleadings and letters to IRT which were not heeded to. So we are left with no option than to bring the case to the panel,” the petitioner told the panel.

Ashwe told the panel that the family wanted a declaration by the panel of Morris’s unjust and unlawful arrest.

He also explained that they want an order for his brother’s immediate release to the family and compensation of N20 million to the victim for the inhumane treatment of his brother and him.

He tendered his brother’s pictures when he was arrested and paraded in Makurdi.

Responding counsel for the respondents, James Idachaba, told the investigative panel that the respondents were not served with all those documents and exhibits relating to the petition.

He then urged the panel to allow them to have all the documents and exhibits with a view to allowing the respondents to prepare for their defence.

While adjourning the petition till February 24 for the continuation of hearing, the chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman (retd) ordered that the pictures of the arrest of the victim printed out from a Facebook page be made available to the police.

He then concluded by ordering the police to produce Morris Ashwe unfailingly by next adjourned day.

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