The Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo, has again refused to appear before the Presidential Investigation Panel on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over the death of one of his personal aides.

Tony Ojukwu, chairman of the panel, also Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, said that the governor refused to honour the summon of the panel.

The chairman said that the counsel to the governor knew that the panel was rounding off and “you decided to frustrate his coming.”

“You are only here to make excuses for him, he received the option of fair hearing and he made his choice.

“The panel will decide this matter on the merit and report on it,” he said.

Audu Danbaki, counsel to Gov. Dankwambo had earlier, told the panel that the governor travelled outside the country on a schedule flight and could not honour the summon of the panel.

“He suggested that if he will be given any other date next week he wouldn’t mind, that he was not trying to be disrespectful to the panel.

“He was here in Abuja for a meeting on Thursday but left to catch his flight,” Danbaki told the panel.

He explained that it was the governor, who lodged the complaint to the police in Kaduna.

Counsel to the petitioner, Ms Glora Ballson regretted the reality of the value attached to human life in the country.

“We have tendered before the panel the fact which is clinical and prayed the panel for justice on conclusion of the case on the cruelty on John Okon, who died when he ought not to,” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the petition was written by Law Chambers of Mr Sunny Olorunmola on behalf of one Mrs Okon over the death of her husband Mr John Okon, who was a personal cook to Dankwambo

Mrs Okon alleged that her husband died as a result of injuries sustained due to beatings and torture by men of SARS.

She further stated that he was in custody of the men of SARS headed by one SP Jummai of the anti-crime department, Kaduna.

Okon said the problem started after a burglary at the Kaduna residence of Dankwambo where the deceased was living with his family.

“The deceased, who lived in the boys quarters of the governor’s private residence in Kaduna woke up on Nov. 8, 2018 to discover that the house had been burgled and four theatre TV cinema sets carted away by unidentified persons.

“The deceased, his wife and other domestic staff reported the case at the Kabala Costain Police Station, where they were all arrested.

“They were subsequently transferred to the state Police Headquarters on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 for further investigation.

“My husband fell sick and died on Nov. 13 as he was being rushed to Barau Diko General Hospital, Kaduna for medical attention,” she said.

Ballson, counsel to the petitioner had earlier, brought a pathologist, Dr Godwin Ayuba who performed autopsy on the deceased to testify.

Dr Iheanyichukwu Ogbonna, obstetrician and gynaecologist, who served as an observer to the autopsy also testified.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the panel was set up by the Federal Government to investigate the allegations of human rights abuses by the men of Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

The panel is to make useful recommendations to government on the way forward.


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