By Shola Akingboye 13th February 2021
John Ogbu, a dealer in new and second hand electronic and home appliances in Gwagwalada area of Abuja, has narrated to the Independent Investigative Panel on allegations of human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigerian Police on Friday, how SARS operatives severely tortured him and broke his leg at the SARS office in ‘Abattoir’.
The abuse according to the complainant occurred around 24th April 2018, at about 3pm, when a man, who he later identified as Insp Edwin Kendiry came to his shop with a stranger who claims that he sold stolen electronics to Ogbu.
In his testimony before the panel, Ogbu said immediately the stranger pointed him out, Insp Edwin carried nine television sets from his shop without explanation and thereafter handcuffed and took him away to Gwagwalada Police Station.
Upon interrogation at the Police Station, Ogbu maintained he had never seen the stranger except that day, and that infuriated Insp. Edwin, who rained beating on him. He was detained for 2 hours; later taken to the popular SARS office, Abattoir.
Continuing, Ogbu said the next day he was taken to the torture room where his arms were twisted to the back and chained to his legs which were bent behind from the knee , he was then hanged onto the ceiling and the beating continue with dangerous weapons by other SARS operatives led by Insp Edwin.
According to him, after the severe torture, he discovered he could not walk again and was release two weeks later after series of investigation revealed that he was wrongly accused.
He was then granted bail in the sum of N150, 000.
He was later taken to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada for medical examination. An x-ray was carried out, and it was confirmed that the bone in his right leg was broken. He had to undergo surgery at the Allied Hospital in Gwagwalada at the cost of N400, 000, to fix his leg.
His prayer to the panel is that he wants to be compensated for the cruel and inhuman degrading treatment he suffered. He added that the injury to his right leg still makes him work with iron, including the loss he suffered when his goods were carted away.
The panel led by Garba Tetengi SAN, who stood in for the Chairman, adjourned for further hearing to15th March, 2021 for the first respondents (Insp Edwin) to appear before it.