By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The National Human Rights Commission’s Independent Investigative Panel on human rights violations by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other Units of the Nigerian Police in Abuja, has ordered the Commissioner of Police, Cross River State and the Security Adviser to the Governor of the State to appear before it over their alleged role in Operation Skolombo which resulted in the death of Mr Emmanuel Ita Ephraim.
The panel has also ordered the appearance of ASP Marcus Joe, following his alleged role in depositing the body of the deceased at the General Hospital mortuary in Calabar, Cross River State.
Justice Suleiman Galadima, Chairman of the 11-Member panel, gave the order on Tuesday at the panel’s sitting in Abuja.
He also directed that certified true copies of the Police station’s crime diary, where the movement of the deceased body was documented after he was allegedly killed by Operation Skolombo, be presented to the panel.
The panel had on the last adjourned date ordered the police to bring a certified true copy of the police station diary, for which the police instead came with a printed WhatsApp copy of the said document.
It would be recalled that when this complaint was part heard on November 30th and December 15th 2020 respectively, younger brother to the deceased narrated to the panel that, on June 17th, 2017 his brother was shot by operatives of operation Skolombo on his way to church.
Operation Skolombo, comprises DSS, NSCDC and Navy, a security outfit established by Cross River State government to maintain peace and order across the State.
Under cross examination, the 4th respondent Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kabiru Salisu, informed the panel that the police personnel were not part of Operation Skolombo on the day Ephraim was killed. However, he believed that the victim was an armed robber, who was shot dead during patrol of Operation Skolombo on the said date.
The case has been adjourned till 25 February, 2021.