Absence of key witnesses stalls hearing on Nimbo killings
The absence of key witnesses yesterday stalled the hearing of the commission on inquiry into the killings of people and destruction of property in Nimbo community, Uzouwani Council in Enugu State.
Immediate past Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Nwodibo Ekechukwu, the Police Area Commander in-charge of Nsukka Command, Mr. Bala Kuryus and leaders of the Fulani community in the state slated to testify yesterday did not show up at the hearing.
Addressing the panel on the development, Police Counsel, Mr. JamesIdachaba said that the officers could not honour their summons due to the change of guard in the Nigeria Police.
Idachaba said that all senior police officers were in Abuja, adding that Ekechukwu would have to get the permission of the Inspector General of Police to honour his summon.
He said that the police was not on trial before the commission, adding that to say that they had something to hide was misleading.
The counsel to the Fulani community, Mr. Julius Aloh said that he could not understand why his clients were absent “because I have had difficulty reaching them.
“These are people who live in the bush. I have tried to get them on phone, but their lines are not going so I will be asking for an adjournment,” Aloh said.
However, the counsel to Nimbo community, Mr. Mathias Nwande, opposed the application for adjournment on the grounds that it was frivolous.
He said that the application for adjournment was unnecessary and should not be allowed to stand.
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Chukwuma Eneh said that the arguments by the counsels held no water as the witnesses were dully summoned to appear.
Eneh said that the tribunal would discharge its duties in line with Section 36 of the Constitution by giving fair hearing to all parties involved.
He told the police counsel that there was no rule of law that stipulated that officers needed not answer to their summons when there was change in leadership in the Nigeria police.
The chairman said that the panel wanted the police officers to discharge the burdens placed on them by testimonies of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Adani, Uzo Uwani local government area of the state.