By Godwin Edeh
The former Commandant, Benue State Vigilante Group (BSVG), Terver Yaya Godwin recently testified before the judicial panel of investigation into Human Rights Violations by the Police and the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives.
Testifying on oath before the panel, Mr Yaya Terver told the panel that, on 30 July, 2014, his appointment as the Commandant of the state Vigilante group was terminated without following the due process as his sack was announced on radio without any letter or communication to him, neither was he found wanting or indicted by any court of law.
He told the panel that as such, he refused to hand over to Joseph Nyuan, the newly appointed commandant and insisted on due process. He said he was later invited by the police, and he humbly honoured the invitation.
However, according to him, on reaching the state headquarters, he met one Superintendent of Police Frank Elaigwu, who asked him why he was being stubborn in refusing to hand over?
He further narrated that, it was in the process that Supol Elaigwu slapped him, seized his car key and ordered for his detention. He said he was detained for 5 days without trial, in breach of his rights and he contacted his lawyer who bailed him and later filed a motion before a high court for the abuse of his fundamental human rights.
Under cross examination by the counsel to the Police and the O/C Legal, Benue State Police Command, Supol F.N Agwu, Terver told the panel that he secured judgement on the 19 February, 2016 from a high court sitting in Makurdi, presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche and judgement was delivered in his favour with a judgment sum of N2 million awarded to him but till date the police are yet to redeem it and urged the panel to intervene so that justice can be served.
Mr Yaya tendered before the panel, the letter of judgement which was adopted and marked as Exhibit A. The matter was later adjourned to 16 February, 2021 for further hearing.
Six other matters were also mentioned during the panel’s sitting of last Monday. These included three (3) cases for hearing, one (1) for defense and another two (2) for continuation of hearing with some of the principal witnesses absent but their counsel applied for a new date.