By Shola Akingboye, 26th February 2021
A petitioner, Abraham Nyamkwange has cried out 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 (IIP-SARS) on Friday, as he narrated how the police “told” his family to pay the sum of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) for a bullet used in shooting his elder brother, late Simon Aondofa Nyamkwange over alleged robbery incident in April 2020 at Eterna filling station in Wuse 2, Abuja.
Testifying before the 11-Member panel chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), Simon recalled that on the 24th of April, 2020, how his late brother’s wife Rosemary Nyamkwange called him on phone early in the morning to inform him that he just learnt that my brother has been shot.
The petitioner who said he lives in Lugbe, Abuja informed the panel that on receiving the bad news, he quickly contacted another cousins who lives in Mararaba, Nasarawa state to meet him in Wuse, Abuja so that they could jointly report the matter to the police.
According to him, he and the said cousin went to SARS office in Abuja where they were later referred to Wuse zone 3 police station.
On reaching there, he said that one Mr. Ibrahim who identified himself as the IPO, told them that his brother was shot at Eterna filling station in Wuse zone 2 and that when he was brought to the police station he bled to death.
He stated that the IPO showed them his late brother’s driver’s license, GSM phone, two ATM cards (Zenith and ECO bank) and one other identity card possible to prove the identity of the deceased.
Abraham informed the panel that the IPO Ibrahim (2nd respondent) said he was instructed not to say anything concerning the matter.
In the process of seeking the release of his late brother’s corpse, the complainant alleged that officer Aunde Peter (3rd respondent), officer (Mrs) Aunde (4th respondent) and one (Vershima Zaki (non-police officer and 5th respondent), extorted two hundred and three thousand naira from his family and never released the corpse till date.
The amount, according to the petitioner was remitted to the police in two installments of N103,000 and N100,000 naira (for the bullet expended in shooting the victim) respectively.
Thereafter, the family could no longer reach any of the listed police officers on phone, neither did they release the corpse for which they collected the stated amount, the petitioner added.
When the panel asked him the whereabouts of his late brother’s body, the complainant said that he was informed by the police that his body was deposited at Wuse zone 3 General Hospital.
On his prayers before the panel, Abraham pleaded with the panel to order the police to release his brother’s corpse to his family for proper burial.
He also prayed the panel to order the police to pay the family the sum of two hundred million naira (N200 million) as compensation for the alleged extra-judicial killing of his brother by the police.
In addition, he implored the panel to ensure that justice prevails concerning the death of his brother.
Other respondent listed in the matter are the DPO Mr. Mamman Joseph, Commissioner of Police FCT and Inspector General of Police as 1st, 6th and 7th respondents respectively.
The matter was adjourned to 7th of April 2021 for police to open their defense.