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OPSH shuns Plateau panel on extra-judicial killings

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Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) of the Joint Task Force in Plateau State has failed to appear before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality and Extra-judicial Killings, after being served the petition and letter of summons for allegedly killing David Watle of Bokkos Council.

On behalf of OPSH, one L-Cpl. David Adejole reportedly received the petition and letter of summons that were served following orders by the panel on November 20, 2020.

However, nobody appeared before the panel for the defence of the allegation.

Chairman of the panel sitting in Jos, Hon. Justice Philomena Lot (rtd.) said: “One L-Cpl. David Adejole of Operation Safe Haven signed and collected the petition on behalf of OPSH.

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“This is very clear that they have been served, but they failed to appear before this tribunal. We cannot wait for them to come to court at will, therefore, this case is to proceed for hearing.”

However, counsel to the petitioner applied for five witnesses to testify before the panel and was granted. Mrs. Nankyer Watle appeared as PW1 and sought the panel to grant her justice and all prayers in the petition, which included N100 million compensation from OPSH for killing her husband.

The widow reportedly filed the petition before the panel on November 6, 2020 with copies of death certificates from Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and the National Population Commission (NPC) as well as Letter of Administration from Jos High Court proving that her husband was shot.

Mentioned for hearing on November 20, 2020, the petition accused two OPSH officers, Capt. Salish Mustapha and I. Abbas, of killing Dauda Watle while on a business trip on February 6, 2013. They were said to have shot at the driver, Salisu Umar, and bullet hit the deceased who was a passenger.

The case was adjourned till January 20, 2021 when the remaining four witnesses will testify, even in absence of the OPSH.

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