Facebook


How Lagos SARS operatives tied, hanged us –Victims

Two
brothers, Paulson Ozor (35) and Nnamdi Ozor (32), have revealed in chilling details, how some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, Lagos State Police Command tortured them. The siblings alleged that the operatives tied their hands behind their backs, hanged them and then placed car shafts on their necks. The men were rushed to the hospital immediately were released. One of them till now, couldn’t make use of his hand. Nnamdi, a trader at the Iyana-Iba Market, Lagos, said that the incident occurred on February 7, when he went to demand money from a customer. The customer bought clothes from him for over a month, but allegedly refused to pay. “I took clothes to my customer, Alhaji. When I got to his shop, he was not around. I met one Sikiru, who introduced himself as Alhaji’s brother. He told me that Alhaji travelled. Sikiru said that he would buy the clothes. He collected the clothes and said that I should wait for him; he wanted to go and bring money. I waited until I got tired. I left when it was getting late,” he recounted.Two brothers, Paulson Ozor (35) and Nnamdi Ozor (32), have revealed in chilling details, how some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, Lagos State Police Command tortured them. The siblings alleged that the operatives tied their hands behind their backs, hanged them and then placed car shafts on their necks. The men were rushed to the hospital immediately were released. One of them till now, couldn’t make use of his hands. Nnamdi, a trader at the Iyana-Iba Market, Lagos, said that the incident occurred on February 7, when he went to demand money from a customer. The customer bought clothes from him for over a month, but allegedly refused to pay. “I took clothes to my customer, Alhaji. When I got to his shop, he was not around. I met one Sikiru, who introduced himself as Alhaji’s brother. He told me that Alhaji travelled. Sikiru said that he would buy the clothes. He collected the clothes and said that I should wait for him; he wanted to go and bring money. I waited until I got tired. I left when it was getting late,” he recounted. After that day, Nnamdi had gone to the shop several times, but Sikiru was always not around. On February 7, he went again to Alhaji’s shop, and met a fellow trader selling close to Alhaji’s shop. He explained to him his transaction with Sikiru. The trader told him Sikiru’s whereabouts. Nnamdi quickly went to check out the location. He said: “I went there, and luckily for me, I saw Sikiru. I asked him to return the clothes; I didn’t want to sell anymore. But he insisted he would pay. I followed him everywhere he went; I didn’t want him to disappear again. He made several calls and pleaded that I should wait for the money. Within some minutes, while I was waiting for him, three armed men came. They bundled me into their Toyota Camry car. When I tried to call my brother, they started slapping me.” Inside the car, Nnamdi saw four boys; the boys were begging the policemen to release them. One of the policemen told the boys that they had been kidnapped. Nnamdi recollected: “My phone rang and one of the policemen collected my phone. He told the caller to stop calling. They drove to Adoff Police Station on Iba Rroad. As they got to the gate of the Lagos State University, Ojo, the security men on duty requested to search their car boot. But the policemen insisted they were SARS men. When I heard that, I asked myself the crime I had committed to warrant being arrested by SARS operatives. “When we got to the police command, Ikeja, they ordered me into their cell and later took me to a place where they tied my two hands behind my back and hanged me. They also placed a car shaft on my tied hands. They told me that the place was their shrine. They accused me of breaking into people’s shops. They asked me to mention names of people whom I used to sell stolen items to. I was confused at each question. It was like a nightmare. One of them accused me of being an armed robber. The cell marshal was instructed to deal with me. The marshal slapped me five times and I felt stinging pains in my ears. Till date, my ears are still hurting me.” Paulson said that he called Nnamdi’s phone line several times on the fateful day, but he couldn’t get through to his brother. He said: “The phone was ringing, but Nnamdi didn’t pick. When someone eventually picked, it was a stranger’s voice. He warned me not to call Nnamdi’s phone again and then switched off. “I quickly called my brother, John and explained the phone incident. Before the phone was cut off, I heard Nnamdi’s voice asking what the problem was, and then someone shouted at him to shut up.” Sensing something was wrong; Paulson and John went to Alaba-Rago bus stop area of Ojo-Alaba, armed with Nnamdi’s picture. They showed the picture around, asking if anyone had seen him. A man remembered seeing someone that looked like Nnamdi. “The guy told us that Nnamdi was among people SARS raided that day,” said Paulson. They checked PPL Police Station and Adoff Police Station, but Nnamdi was not there. He added: “On Friday, John told me that somebody called him, that we should come to Alaba-Rago. We went there. We met a street urchin, who said that he would take us to his boss at SARS office. He said that he hoped we had money.” The urchin took them to a beer parlour after they reached police headquarters, Ikeja. “He said that we should exercise patience, that his boss was coming to see us,” said Paulson. They were still in the beer parlour, waiting when Paulson noticed a familiar face. He said: “I recognised the face of a policeman. We used to call him Dealer. He used to come to my shop to buy clothes. We talked and I told him about my brother. He asked me to wait. At that point, John called our market chairman, who called a human rights activist, Chief Michael Igbokwe.” They would later discover that the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) is nicknamed Gogol. Paulson recalled: “I was standing with John and the human rights activist, when Gogol called me. He said I should come. Immediately I got close, he slapped my right eye. He threatened to deal with me. He said that I was a robbery suspect. He dragged me into a room, where my hands were roughly tied behind my back. A car shaft was placed on my bent neck. They said I must tell them the truth. I must tell them where I got goods that were in my shop. They later said that for my bail, I would have to pay N400,000.” Paulson further said: “Sergeant Gogol said that my brother used to break into people’s shops, steal goods and sell them. He searched my pocket and took N12,000 there. I was striped and asked to face their shrine. The place was decorated with red clothes. They persuaded me to confess that I was a robber. I was there tied for four hours. Even in that condition, I told Dealer as someone who knows me very well, and knows where I do my business, that I was not an armed robber. “One of the SARS men, who heard me saying I was innocent, told them to release me. Before they untied me, I was singing praises and worship. Gogol came and tied my mouth; he said I was making noise. God says that in every situation, we should praise him. After I was untied, I was taken to a cell. There were over 100 detainees. One could hardly stand straight.” Paulson appealed to the police authorities to investigate their case and bring the policemen, who tortured him and his brother, to justice. Reacting to the accusations of torture made by the brothers, Sergeant Gogol said that the brothers were arrested based on reliable information on their crime activities. The IPO claimed that Nnamdi confessed to the crime of breaking into people’s shops, stealing and selling their goods. He said: “Nnamdi told us that Paulson was aware of his activities, thus we invited him to our office. When he came, we interrogated him. Paulson told us that he has somebody who imports clothes for him to sell from overseas. We asked him the name of the person; he was not able to provide the names. Later, he said that he buys his goods from Lagos Island. We requested the names of his customers, he declined. His words are inconsistence and then we arrested him. Later they told us there was one Raphael, whom they buy things from. We asked them to provide the man or we would charge them to court. I’m not a bad person; if I’m bad, I would have collected the N10,000 I saw in his pocket. I have told him to come and take it, with his Nokia phone. We will charge them to court if they still refuse to provide the guy that used to supply those clothes. We told them to come to our office on Monday, but they said they were in the hospital. There is no problem, but we will get to the root of the matter

No comments:

Post a comment

Adbox

Total Pageviews