Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Attempt by some lawyers to use the Rivers Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Police brutality to stop the activities of the already outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB in Oyigbo area of the State has failed.
The lawyers, who submitted a petition on behalf of the entire people of Oyigbo local government area to the panel had also demanded that Rivers State government, should rebuild all the public infrastructures destroyed when hoodlums hijacked the #EndSARS protest in the area.
But while dismissing the petition, Chairman of the Panel, Hon. Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (Rtd) said the matters canvassed for have no affinity with the terms of reference of the Commission, which, he noted, has to do with police brutality.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after, one of the lawyers, O.C Higher-King, said the proscribed IPOB successfully hoisted its flag in Oyigbo because they felt that the area had been abandoned by the state government.
“We came here basically to assist the Commission; we did our private findings and found out that there was actually Police brutality and military brutality and other people during the mayhem in Oyigbo. We discovered that and we documented and brought to the Commission.
“Although we have several indigenes of Oyigbo we know that we’re brutalized by the Police and military but we wanted to come as a neutral body, an association of eminent lawyers on Oyigbo to present to the Panel.
“We recommend that the state government take over Oyigbo and own Oyigbo because a bride that is abandoned is a public property. It is not just this government that abandoned us, precious governments. That is the problem we have, but they have struck it out.
“We also demanded that they should rebuild the entire damaged infrastructure in Oyigbo including Police stations and all the courts. In fact, everything destroyed. You can see they those recommendations were actually not supposed to be struck out, but that is the law for now.
“We further demanded that the state government should do all it can to curtail the excesses of IPOB and all that because they have been alleged to be the people that destroyed those things and all that with the military and the Police.”