One, Chief Sunny Esiso, a petitioner at the Independent Investigative Panel on allegations of human rights violations and police brutality by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigerian Police on Monday lamented to the panel how the police under the Delta State Command have laid siege at our family house in Delta State.
Testifying before the Justice Suleiman led panel, the petitioner alleged that despite two court judgements from the Federal High Court, Abuja on 13th October,2016 and 8th May 2020, respectively awarding N50m compensation to the family and written apology from the police to the family, and restraining order to the police from interfering with the Esiso Family estate, which the police has fragrantly continued to disobey the orders.
Chief Sunny Esiso alleges that one Yoma Esiso has continually instigated the police against the Esiso family after the death of their father in 2011 to harass and terrorise the remaining surviving members of late Chief Edward Esiso.
In his petition to the panel ,Chief Sunny Esiso, representing the family, stated that during the lying in state of their late father, Mr Yoma Esiso stormed the ceremony with armed policemen to arrest their elder sister, Mrs Dame Beauty Ogbodu ‘without warrant and any justifiable reason”
Continuing his narration, he alleged that Mr Yoma Esiso on 28th November 2020, again mobilised the Delta state police command, which came heavily armed, with a bulldozer and demolished some of parts of the family property named “GATEWAY ESTATE LIMITED”.
He further alleged that on the same 28th November 2020, Yoma Esiso and the police stormed another family property, “OILFIELD” a former transport company to Shell Nigeria Company, and confiscated some of the properties on the premises and issued “life threatening statements to everyone present and completely brought a halt to their businesses and even locked up the entire property” he said.
According to Chief Sunny Esiso despite intervention from traditional rulers and religious leaders, Yoma Esiso has continued to hound and harass the family using the Delta state Police Command.
“Yoma did not live well with our father, it’s like he is on vendetta mission” Chief Sunny Esiso disclosed in an emotion laden voice. He stated that Yoma Esiso filed a lawsuit in 2014 where he prayed to be made part of Shareholders/beneficiaries of their late father’s property “GATEWAY ESTATE LIMITED”, but the court in a well-considered judgement dismissed the case in 2016.
His prayer before the panel is that the police officers concerned (respondents in the petition) should be prosecuted for malicious persecution, harassment, intimidation and wilful destruction of properties, while Mr Yoma Esiso, the accomplice, be prosecuted for providing false information to the police.
Adding to the list of prayers before the panel, Counsel to Chief Sunny Esiso and family, Augustine Uwangue wants the panel to order the police to desist from laying siege on the family property “till date the police are still occupying the property” he said.
While Counsel to the respondents, led by James Idachaba pleaded they have not been properly briefed on the petition and promised to send signal to the O.C Legal of Delta State Police Command.
The case has been adjourned to 7th April,2021 for cross-examination.