Counsel Laments Non-Payment Of Client’s N300m Compensation

A counsel to a petitioner before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry has told newsmen a judgement awarded by the court against the police is yet to be implemented.

Speaking after the panel had said it would make recommendations about his client’s petition, the counsel, Chief Mayor Ohia, told reporters that a High Court in Port Harcourt awarded the sum of three hundred million naira as damages against the police to be paid to his client since 2013 but the judgement was yet to be implemented.

He said that his client had had his leg amputated after he was shot by police on trumped-up charge.

The petitioner’s counsel said: “Our client immediately he was shot, taken to the hospital and amputated. He was charged to court on two different counts. We did that for about three years (and) those charges were dismissed. We wrote (to) the police to come and take care of this young man because he can’t help himself but they refused. We now had no option than to go to court and by the time we went to court – the High Court of Rivers State – the court listened to the matter and at the end of  the day, the court gave judgement against them (police) and asked them to pay three hundred million naira to him.

“From the date court gave judgement in 2013 till date that judgement has not been complied with and that is why we are here and the man that caused this harm is walking about free. He’s there in the police till today and no question”.

When the matter came up before the panel, counsel to the Commissioner of Police, Iyio Nelson Ubulom, observed that the petitioner had got a judgement in a court of law but the petitioner’s counsel said by the Commission’s mandate they were in order coming before the panel.

In the end, the commission had said it would make recommendations about the petition.

Speaking with newsmen, the petitioner, Bestman Bekwelle, said he was arrested on a trumped-up charge and was shot one early morning by a police officer as he was out to throw waste from the police cell.

He said he was taken to hospital while he was in an unconscious state and had woken to find one of his legs amputated.

He said the court awarded three hundred million naira damages in his favour against the police but the judgement has not been implemented.

He said he was not trying to escape when he was shot saying that he was arrested by the police on trumped-up charge of stealing twenty thousand naira brought on him by someone he had known.

He said he had helped him carry out a job only to have the charge brought on him.

Meanwhile, a woman had also told the Commission that she wants justice over her son who was arrested by the police in 2007 and had not been seen since.

The petitioner, Patience Mbam, told the panel that her son who was arrested by the police on September 20, 2007 was going to watch football in Ogbunabali in Port-Harcourt.s

She said that she wants justice because she doesn’t believe that her son is still alive also saying she wants the police to pay compensation.

She said her son who was twenty years old was arrested and taken to the Old GRA Police Station saying that she was not allowed to see him when she had gone to the station, but said when his sister later saw him the police had broken his head and there was blood all over him.

She had told the commission weeping that she wants the police to pay compensation.

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