… Gberegbe's Widow Also To Testify
The former Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Rivers State, ACP Akin Fakorede, is expected to give oral evidence in court on Friday, July 12 in a fundamental rights suit brought by widow of late Dr. Ferry Gberegbe.
Dr. Gberegbe was allegedly shot by operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on 10th of March, 2019 at INEC Collation Centre in Bori in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State during the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections.
Dr. Gberegbe, who was a collation agent for the People's Democratic Party, was said to have died in hospital days after he was allegedly shot.
ACP Fakorede is second defendant in the suit brought by Ronke, the widow of late Dr. Ferry Gberegbe, in which she alleged that the first defendant, Commissioner of Police in Rivers State and the second defendant violated the right to life of her late husband.
Also to give evidence before a Port-Harcourt High Court presided over by Justice Adolphus Enebeli is the widow of late Dr. Gberegbe.
The presiding judge directed counsels to both parties at the last sitting to get their clients ready who are witnesses in the case to give oral evidence on July 12.
Ronke filed the fundamental rights suit against the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State and the then SARS Commander for the death of her husband in the election.
She said in the suit that the defendants allegedly violated the right to life of her late husband and asked that they pay the sum of N800 million in damages for the violation of his right to life.
At the sitting on July 4, a video clip allegedly showing how Dr. Gberegbe was shot by SARS operatives was played in court. The video was played after the court granted that it should be played.
In an interview, counsel to the defendants, Essiene Edet, who is a legal officer in the Nigeria Police Force, said: “The second respondent, Assistant Commissioner of Police Akin Fakorede, is also going to mount the witness box and will also be examined-in-chief and be cross-examined”.
He said he was not opposed to the playing of the video clip in court, but that he countered the allegation that police killed Dr. Gberegbe.
He said: “The court said that oral evidence is going to be taken. This is the beginning of what is going to be done.
The video clip … (was) played in court for us to have a look at one of the evidence. In fact, that is according to them their strongest evidence against the respondents…
Oral evidence is going to be taken as directed by court.
“I didn't counter the playing of the video. I countered the averment in their deposition that we did not commit that act for which they alleged we did”.
On his part, the complainant's counsel, Barrister Lezina Amegua, said: “The court granted us … (our) prayer to see that the video was played in the open court. Basically, it is an open truth, it is naked as it is, that he was shot by men of SARS led by Akin Fakorede. It is no longer again as they claim it was. He was hit by their bullets and he fell down. He was rushed… for safety by sympathizers at the scene but unfortunately… he died some days after”.
But Fakorede while addressing members of a joint committee from the House of Representatives in Port-Harcourt said that the police did not kill late Dr. Gberegbe. According to him, late Dr. Gberegbe died from food poisoning.