Former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi is to appear before the State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on police brutality, extra-judicial killings and other related matters.
The panel hinted this on Thursday while reacting to an allegations leveled against Peter Obi by a victim of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and owner of the demolished Upper Class Hotel in Onitsha, Chief Bonaventure Mokwe.
Appearing before the panel, Mokwe claimed he was arrested and tortured by SARS operatives who accused him of being a kidnapper, and his hotel was demolished by the former governor without prior investigation.
The hotelier who alleged that Peter Obi’s action indicted him, demanded a public apology from the former governor for being branded a kidnaper and kept in SARS custody for 81 days without any charges against him.
Following his narration, the panel chairman, Justice V. N. Umeh, told the victim’s counsel, Prof Umeh Nweke, to seek an addendum to their earlier petition instead of the narration that would gulp the panel’s time.
The chairman assured the victim that everyone mentioned in the case, including the police, would be invited to appear before the panel. He gave Mokwe up to 26 November, 2020, to file his addendum.
Mokwe who later spoke to journalists related the incident that led to the demolition of his hotel said, “The whole thing was a setup.
“Somebody lodged in room 102 of my hotel and in the morning, SARS came and found a human skull in the room. I bet you that SARS didn’t come to check who the man was or how the skulls got there, they just came to uncover the planted exhibit and destroy the hotel because they did not ask for the name of the lodger who brought in the skull.
“I know it was a setup. The then governor, Peter Obi had converted Ose (motor) park to Onitsha park, giving Onitsha people the right to collect levies there. Mokwe Park (his park) is beside Ose park.
“So when transporters who use Ose park felt the fee they were paying to Onitsha people were much, they came to my park to do their business. Onitsha people were not happy with me. It was just two weeks after that the skulls were planted in my hotel.
“On the same day, without any form of investigation, my hotel, which was built in 1973 was demolished. I have evidence that the bulldozer that was used to demolish my hotel was paid for, two days before the incident and demolition. So, how did they know skulls were going to be found in my hotel if they were not planted?
“James Nwafor (former SARS boss) did not just come from Ebonyi State and start killing people, they were people who gave him the latitude under which he operated, and we are ready to reveal them.”
But reacting on behalf of Obi, the former Anambra Commissioner for information, Barr. Joe Martins said the point to note is that the former SARS boss, Nwafor was a very junior officer when Obi was governor, and could not have had any form of relationship with him (Obi).
He said Nwafor did whatever he did as a police officer posted to Anambra State and that Obi did not hire him as an aide nor even know him personally.
“The allegation that SARS derived its powers from the governors is a complete betrayal of one with a mission. It confirms the information that some people have been heavily suborned to use the platform (panel) to play the game of vendetta.
“We knew when they were invited to Abuja and we have information on what transpired. Who in Nigeria does not know that the clamour for state police is because governors have absolutely no control over the police as presently constituted? It is all attempts to smear Obi. It has always failed and that the present “last dance” will equally come to nought.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Peter Obi had also denied the allegation that he demolished mosques and also sent Hausa people out of the state while he was governor.