The Delta State Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate police brutality in Warri has come under criticism for not allowing victims to express themselves in confidence.
The panel chaired by retired Justice Celestina Ogisi, it was alleged had subjected victims to come with lawyers for their testimonies and experiences before the panel.
Addressing newsmen at the day two of the sitting after 13 cases were attended to, the Delta state chairman of the Civil Rights Council, Comr Agbubi Emmanuel said, “I want to commend the Delta state government for this opportunity given to some of the victims of police brutality but with my observation, I begin to suspect if justice can be served or being denied through this process.
The chairman of the panel refused to attend to some the cases brought before them on the ground that some of these cases are already at the Higher or Lower Courts and the panel do not have the right to entertain such cases.
It is not expected of the panel to do such thing because we are talking about police brutality and some of these persons may have been brutalized for long and the case has been there delaying justice.
If our judiciary is working effectively as it ought to be, there would not have been the setting up these panel, and we expect the panel listen to every one that has registered their petitions and grievances as a result police brutality and extra judicial killing and make recommendation to these courts the Attorney General of the state.
Some of the cases brought before the panel have lingered for years without justice being served and they are brought here but with refusal of the panel to attend to such cases, it means justice is being denied.
Speaking further, Agbubi express dissatisfaction over the panel of compelling victims to appear with lawyers saying; this is not a conventional court where victims are to appear with lawyers.
These are some of the challenges facing victims which has lingered on, and if the panel continued this way, I believe Nigerians will not get any justice from some the panel set up.
He also lamented the technical difficulties being faced during sessions, “It is embarrassing that despite the efforts made by the government, the technical department in Warri is disheartening and if it continues, I bet you the purpose of the panel would be defeated because people would not be interested to attend when they cannot hear cases that are being treated.