By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
The Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses, yesterday, ordered the immediate arrest of CSP Carol Afegbai (rtd) for failing to appear before it to explain his alleged complicity in the murder of a 500 Level student of University of Benin, Ibrahim Momodu.
Recall that late Ibrahim Momodu, 22, a 500 Level student of Faculty of Laboratory Science, University of Benin, was murdered in 2013.
The said late Momodu who was the only male child of his parents was allegedly shot a stone throw from his family house at 1, Igbobaewaye Street, off Siluko road by Textile Mill junction.
At the resumed hearing of the case, a member of the panel, named A. B. Thomas argued that the said Carol Afegbai who was then Divisional Police Officer of Ogida has no right not to have appeared before the panel to explain her roles in the killing of the said Momodu if she has nothing to hide from the members of the public.
Thomas argued still that if the court had not tried her then when the case was first instituted, it was because she was not included in the suit but added that as it is now, she is a party to the case.
“That we ordered her arrest and that she should be brought to this court here.
“If she was not arrested in the high court, if she was not arrested in the court of Appeal, it is because she was not a party it was state versus the man who pulled the trigger but before us here, she is a member to the party and if we just go ahead to conclude my Lord, it will seem she is above the law.
“Therefore, we summon the Commissioner of Police to produce Mrs. Carol Afegba before this panel”, he said.
Flowing from the argument of Mr. A. B. Thomas who said failing to compel Mrs. Carol Afegbai to appear before the panel could amount to belittling the efficacies of the panel, chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (rtd), therefore ordered the immediate arrest of Carol Afegbai
“Earlier, the panel had summoned the respondent to appear before this panel in today’s proceedings and it is on record that she has failed to do so.
“It is of the view therefore of this panel that the respondent having failed to appear before the said panel, a warrant of arrest should be issued against her to appear before the said panel.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that a warrant of arrest be issued forthwith on the said respondent who is named Carol Afegbai who shall appear before this panel following the order of this panel on the 9th day of December, 2020”, Justice Ehigiamusoe said
Similarly, counsel to Solomon Obodeh, Barr. Abraham Oviawe has prayed the panel to invite the police officers who were allegedly involved in the killing of Benson Obodeh.
The counsel feared that the alleged killers may have escaped from the Oko Correctional Centre and the Benin Maximum Correctional Centre along Sapele road, Benin City.