How Policemen forced me to sign fake C of O, elderly man tells Judicial Panel

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From Dan Maduagwu, Umuahia

 

An elderly man, Mr Noah Ekpe John from Owonna Umuosa, Osisioma Ngwa LGA of Abia State on Wednesday narrated how some policemen, led by one sergeant Ben Chijoke allegedly arrested him and made him to sign a fake Certificate of Occupancy of his land.

Elder John made the allegation during his cross examination at the ongoing Abia State Panel on Extra-judicial killings and other related matters, holding at Aguiyi Ironsi conference centre, Umuahia, Abia State.

According to the petitioner, one Mr Remigus, had written a petition to the Police against him, accusing him of reselling a parcel of land he had earlier sold to him to another person.

The petitioner also alleged that he was arrested in his house by a team of Policemen allegedly led by Sergeant Ben and taken to a Police Station where he the sum of N200,000 was allegedly extorted from his family to secure his bail.

He added that he was again arrested twice by the same Policemen while the sums of N30,000 and N20,000 was collected from him who also forced him to sign a document confirming a land deal between him and the said petitioner, simply identified as Mr Remigus.

John insisted that he did not have any deal with anyone on land transaction, urging the panel to order the said policeman, Ben , to appear and produce the alleged ‘fake’ C of O for it to be torn in front of Judicial panel.

He further demanded that he be refunded all the money that were allegedly extorted from him during his ordeal inside the Police sell, while also urging to panel to order the said petitioner, Policemen or any other alleged persecutor from further harnessing or threatening his life.

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Though, the respondent was not present during the panel sitting, the counsel to the Police who cross-examined Mr Noah Ekpe John told the petitioner that there was no evidence to support his claims that he was extorted or forced under duress to sign a land document.

The respondent’s counsel also expressed his ‘disappointment’ with elder Noah Ekpe John for allegedly trying to deceive the Honorable panel with his ‘untrue and inconsistent’ stories.

The Panel Chairman, Retired Justice Sunday Imo adjourned the matter to February , 2020 for further hearing.

Meanwhile, an Aba-based business man, Mr Maduabuchi Friday has demanded the sum of N20 million naira as damages for the losses jr suffered when a team of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) shot him while he was inside his shop at Ariaria part of Aba on 31st July,2015.

He said bullets from the anti-drugs men allegedly hit his left arm, damaging it, adding that he spent a lot of money to treat himself, adding that his business collapsed as a result of the incident.

But his claims were rejected by the counsel to respondent, NDLEA who insisted that a group of criminals operating at a dangerous spot known as “Black Kingdom”, led by one ‘Luther King’ that allegedly released the shots on NDLEA men.

The defence counsel explained that some officials of NDLEA received serious gun shots during the shooting, with one of them suffering a bullet wound in his skull which led to his being flown to India for treatment, noting that the petitioner , Maduabuchi Friday could have been hit by bullets from the criminal gang from “Black Kingdom”, not NDLEA.

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He further said that the petitioner had no evidence to back his claims as no evidence of reports from ballisticians were presented to back his claims, wondering why the petitioner, Maduabuchi is approaching Abia State Judicial panel , some yesrs after backing out from his earlier threat to sue NDLEA.

Maduabuchi insisted that he was shot by NDLEA officials, not a stray bullet from any other source, while denying knowledge of any one called “Luther King”

The matter was adjourned to February 24 by the panel’s Chairman, Retired Justice Sunday Imo to enable the two parties bring witnesses.

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