The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing allegations of human rights abuses against operatives of the disbanded police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by one Paschal Bonu, who is seeking to enforce a N300million ruling against the police tactical unit.
In its ruling on a preliminary objection raised by the police counsel, Joseph Ebosereme, the Lagos panel dismissed Bonu’s petition as an abuse of court processes.
The police counsel had earlier told the Lagos panel that the case in question was a subject of an appeal at the Supreme Court.
Ebosereme said though the Federal High Court, Lagos, awarded N300million compensation against the police in favour of the petitioner, the Force had appealed the ruling at the apex court.
“Although the Court of Appeal had delivered judgment in the case and upheld the judgment of the lower court, the appellate court reduced the N300million damages to N30million,” he stated.
He said the police had also appealed the matter at the Supreme Court, adding that the decision of the petitioner to approach the Lagos panel was an attempt to preempt the decision of the apex court.
Ebosereme warned the panel against entertaining the petition, saying it would open a floodgate for all persons who have pending fundamental rights cases in court to rush to the panel for quick resolution of their petitions.
The Chairman of the Lagos panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, said the team would resist the temptation to bring it “on a collision course” with the apex court and dismissed the petition.
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