By Jimitota Onoyume, Warri
The family of late Ogbe Onokpite has approached the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police brutality and extrajudicial killings sitting in Warri, Delta state, for justice over the brutal murder of their brother nine years ago allegedly by the Police.
Onokpite, 38, was a former governorship aspirant of Citizens Peoples Party, CPP, at the time he was murdered at a hotel in Udu local government area.
Fielding questions from journalists at the venue of the panel, a relative of the deceased, Mr Victor Onokpite said they were at the panel to demand justice for their late brother, adding that they were still grieved by the gruesome murder of the late politician.
Their counsel, Eriata Odiana said the police allegedly behind the heinous murder would certainly be brought to book, adding that they hope to get favourable recommendations from the panel at the end of the day.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Celestina Ogisi rtd adjourned the matter December 8 to enable the police time to file its counter-affidavits to the ones sent in by the family.
Meantime, the panel has also expressed worries with the poor response of the police to allegations before it, saying it was not filing necessary counter-affidavits to speed up proceedings.
Secretary of the panel, Mr Erebe Omamuzo made the complaints during a chat with journalists.
“The major challenge appears to be that we are not getting the kind of cooperation we expect from the police.”, he said.
” Respondents are not present during the course of the hearings and the police have also failed to file the respective affidavits to ensure that the matters go on.”, he said.
“All the matters that have been called, the panel is ready to take them, nearly all the petitioners are available to give evidence but of course, in the principle of fair hearing and natural justice”, he said.
“We need to hear from the other sides and give them an opportunity to be heard but unfortunately we appear not to be receiving that kind of cooperation from the police”, he added.