SARS operatives threw me off 2 storey building, I broke my spine -Trader tells Lagos panel

SARS operatives threw me off 2 storey building, I broke my spine -Trader tells Lagos panel

Hearing by the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry into complaints of human rights violations by men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad continued on Tuesday with a trader, Ndukwe Ekekwe, narrating how he was tortured by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Ekekwe, who appeared before the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel alongside his aged mother, Mrs Nnena, relived the harrowing details of how he broke his spine in 2018 when policemen threw him off a two-storey shopping complex at Alaba Market.

Now paraplegic following his severed spinal cord, he narrated how he was unlawfully arrested on February 16, taken to the SARS head office at Ikeja, stripped naked and brutalised in a torture chamber.

“I asked them what my crime was, but none of them told me.

“Other traders in the shopping complex asked the same question of the police officers.

“When the people gathering are too much, they ire teargas and shot into the air to scare people away,” he said.

He recounted that when he got to the police station, he was taken to the torture room and brutalised by some other police officers in the station.

He added that the operatives went back with him the next day to his three shops at Alaba, broke the doors open with hammers and were selling off his goods.

He said when he challenged the officers, the leader of the team asked his subordinates to keep him busy.

“When their leader asked them to keep me busy, they took me upstairs and one of them threw me down.

“I passed out and I met myself at the hospital by the time I regained my consciousness,” he added.

The trader said he was never told the reason for his arrest.

The Chairperson of the panel admitted hospital documents, X-rays, telephone numbers of the indicted officers and other documents tendered by the petitioners as exhibits.

She, thereafter, adjourned proceedings in petition to November 13 2020.

The judicial panel, which began hearing last Tuesday, is also probing the shootings of October 20, 2020 at the Lekki Toll Gate where eyewitnesses said uniformed men opened fire on #EndSARS protesters, killings an unconfirmed number of persons.

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