The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution set up to investigate cases of police brutality and other related abuses has reserved judgment in the petition filed by Mrs. Nzube Obiechina, the younger sister of alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudeme Onwuadike popularly known as Evans.
The petitioner, a schoolteacher was allegedly detained and tortured for 22 days by the police in 2017, alongside her husband, Ogechukwu.
Since the panel commenced sitting over a month ago, Obiechina has been invited at least twice to give her account of the ordeal.
She told the panel that she had lost two pregnancies because of the torture by the police.
At yesterday’s sitting, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi said a date for judgment would be communicated to the parties.
Justice Okuwobi’s decision followed the submission of the Obiechinas’ final written address by their counsel, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje. The police had also submitted its final written address.
The Obiechinas are seeking the enforcement of the N2million compensation awarded against the police by the Federal High Court in Lagos, following their ordeal.
Nzube and her husband first appeared before the panel on October 31.
The couple told the panel that the incident occurred in June 2017 after the operatives falsely labelled her a thief and kidnapper because her phone number and that of her husband were allegedly used by the notorious alleged kidnapper, Evans, to make contact with the family of a kidnap victim to collect $1million ransom.
Mrs Obiechina, who testified first, said she was two months pregnant at the time, but that during beatings, the men threatened to “force the baby out of me”.
She also testified that following further trauma from the torture SARS operatives meted out on her husband during his second arrest in October 2017, she lost another pregnancy.
She said the SARS operatives also stole her husband’s N50,000 and compelled them to cough up N400,000 as bail, before they were freed.
After this, the couple said they sued the Police at the Federal High Court in Lagos and won. In the judgment they secured, Justice Mohammed Idris ordered the Police to pay them N2million as compensation.
The couple also said they won at the Court of Appeal in Lagos in 2020 but the police refused to comply with the judgment.