The independent investigative panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units on Wednesday summoned a former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, to appear before it in January 2021.
The panel summoned the senator, who represented Zamfara West senatorial district between 2007 and 2019 in the Senate, following an application made to such effect by the counsel for the panel, Olawale Afolabi, during the hearing of a petition brought by one Alhaji Ahmed Musa Wapa against two police officers, simply addressed as Abdullahi and Zakariyya of the Area Command, Kano State; IGP-IRT Fanteka, Kaduna State; Commissioner of Police, Kano State and the Inspector-General of Police.
The petitioner had alleged threat to his life and abuse of office.
While applying for a summon to be issued on the senator, Afolabi told the panel that Yerima’s name had been mentioned by the petitioner as a necessary party.
The chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima (retd), granted the application as prayed.
Earlier, the petitioner, Alhaji Wapa had told the panel that on June 30, 2020, he was arrested in Hadejia by a team of policemen who thoroughly beat him in the presence of the people.
He said he was from there taken to Kano together with his driver, adding that the police seized the key of his car from the driver.
“They continued to beat me inside the bus (taking him to Kano). In Kano, they put the two of us in the cell. My driver was asked the following day to contact his people, while they took me to Kaduna.
“After spending four days there, a policeman, Abdullahi, from Kano came and said that he came to transfer the case to Kano. He said Senator Yerima asked them to bring the case to Kano,” Wapa told the panel.
He stated that on the way to Kano, Abdullahi told him that Yerima claimed that he (petitioner) was owing to him (senator) the sum of N23 million.
He informed that he was dumped in a cell meant for people with culpable homicide cases, adding that the cell was very small and meant for only five people but 21 of them were dumped there.
The petitioner added that the said Abdullahi went to Funtua, Katsina State and arrested three of his relatives and asked them to pay for their release, adding that the policeman seized his two trucks and personal car.
He, therefore, urged the panel to order the unfrozen of his account with First Bank, Bakura branch; guarantee his safety as well as the release of his truck with the payment of N20,000 it delivered daily for the period of April 20 till date.
The petitioner further sought the sum of N100million as damages from the police and Senator Yerima for tarnishing his image as a terrorist and closing of his business, adding that he could not do his business any longer as people now see him as a terrorist.
While being cross-examined by counsel for the respondents, James Idachaba, the petitioner stated that he was not aware that the court ordered his investigation.
He said he did not write any statement to the police, saying that they did not tell him any offence he committed, throughout the six days he spent in police custody.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned till January 12, 2021, for a continuation of hearing.
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