A former governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi has prayed the ENDSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry (JPI) sitting in Awka, the state capital to dismiss the petition of Mr Bonaventure Mokwe.
Obi, through his lawyer, Alex Ejesieme (SAN) said the petition was an abuse of court process as two litigations relating to it were before a Court of Appeal.
Ejesieme said the matters were in suit numbers 0/249/2014 and 0/200/2014 represented by Exhibit B2 and B1 respectively where he was claiming damages amounting to about N5 billion and that asking for another N120 million was an abuse of process.
He said while Mr Peter Obi and CSP James Nwafor were defendants in B2, Anambra Government, Attorney General and Commission for Justice were defendants in B1 both of which Mr Bonaventure Mokwe was the Claimant.
The Senior Counsel who filed a response to Mokwe’s petitions prayed the panel to dismiss the complaints of the complainant on four grounds including being subjudice, panel’s lack of jurisdiction to entertain the matter and being outside the terms of reference of the panel.
Obi’s counsel said the panel was set up to investigate Police brutality and recommend compensation and that it cannot do such without considering the allegations against his principal who is a private citizen already in court with the petitioned.
According to him, as a matter fact, only victims of Police brutality who have not pressed for damage in any court should come to the panel.
He said other persons may have had their cases determined or pending in competent court of jurisdictions.
SP Innocent Obi, legal representative of Police aligned himself with the position of Obi’s counsel.
On his part, Prof. Meshach Umenweke, counsel to Mokwe said the application was misplaced and should not be granted as the applicant or Nwafor were not parties in the petition.
Umenweke said the petition was pressing for compensation from Police and not damages.
He said the panel should entertain it as the outcome would not have effect on Obi arguing that the panel had powers to hear the petition.
The counsel also filed an addendum which was admitted by the panel.
The panel expressed embarrassment over media reports on first hearing that it invited Peter Obi, adding that it did not at any time do so.
Hon. Justice Veronica Umeh, Chairman of the panel adjourned to Dec. 10 for ruling on the application of Obi.