SARS Turns Me Into ATM, Woman Tells Panel
There was a heated argument at the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of SARS on Tuesday between Counsel to the Nigerian Police, C. S. O. Nwandi, Esq, and a member of the panel over the authenticity of a medical report presented by a petitioner, Mr. Abebe Emmanuel before the panel.
Abebe, 41, was shot on his leg in 2011 by the disbanded SARS who invaded his compound.
The argument which almost turned violent happened when the police counsel tried to question the personality and the authority of whose signature appeared on the medical report presented by Mr. Abebe.
In retaliation, Dr. Usiosefe Anthony Ereyimwan, member of the panel, said the police counsel has no moral rectitude to do that because the name of the hospital and the medical doctor who signed the document is a man of high reputation.
It, however, took the intervention to calm the frayed nerves by subsequently adjourning for a further day.
In the same vein, a petitioner, Mrs. Patience Okundaye told the Panel how the disbanded SARS allegedly assaulted and extorted her, thereby turning her into an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
Okundaye, who brought a plasma TV set to the panel to play the recorded video of how she suffered in the hands of SARS officials narrated how the men dragged her to police station with only wrapper and singlet on her body.
“They dragged me to the police station with only wrappers and singlets on my body, loaded my vehicle with the drinks we were to use on Sunday, and went away with them.
“To cut the story short, my son spent N600,000 to bail all those who were arrested in my compound.
“He also paid N200,000 to bail me and my last born.
“Others spent close to a week in the cell before they were bailed”, she noted.
She pleaded with the panel to invite the said police officers and recommend adequate sanction for them.
“What I want from this panel is that the policemen who were involved in this act should be summoned to appear before this panel and they should be prosecuted”, she said.
The chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe however ordered that the said officers appear before the panel on 17 December, 2020.
“Certain police officers were referred in the body of the petition.
“The Police Officers are one DPO, Ogida barracks division by name, CSP Tope and there is also, the OC Anti-Kidnapping and Cultism, CSP Balogun. These officers are ordered to appear before this panel on the 17 December, 2020“, Ehigiamusoe said.