SARS starved my brother to death, victim’s sister tells IIP-SARS

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By Raphael Ekpang

The sister to one of the victims of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and police brutality, Doris Ididia told the Independent Investigative Panel on allegations of human rights violations by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigerian Police force on Wednesday how police allegedly starved her late brother to death.

Ididia who was led by her counsel, Kuyik Usoro, burst into tears while narrating the alleged brutality of Inspector Kingsley (of defunct SARS)  before the panel chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd).

In her oral testimonies to the panel, Ididia allegedly narrated how Inspector Kingsley in October 2016 organised a mob who attacked her brother, Festus Idehen leaving him with various degrees of injuries before he eventually died after a short while.

She told the panel that her brother was beaten to stupor by the mob and that efforts to avail him with medical treatment were cunningly thwarted by the 1st respondent, Inspector Kingsley.

According to the complainant, Festus Idehen (now deceased) received a phone call on October 3, 2016 and he drove in his car to meet the caller and another car kept trailing him from the back and after a while, he stopped and alighted from his car and the 1st respondent did the same and gave him a hot chase and eventually arrested him.

She went further to inform the panel that the 1st respondent painted his late brother as a thief before the mob which encouraged them to descend on him.

“The Police starved my brother for three days before he passed on”, she lamented.

She said, The victim was later abandoned in a hospital in Kaduna and a doctor anonymously obliged him with telephone services, seeing that he was in critical condition,  rapped with medical POP from serious injuries he sustained in the hands of his alleged tormentors.

According to the complainant, it was the victim’s phone call which made them know the address of the hospital that enabled her family to trace him to the hospital, where they surprisingly met him in critical health condition.

It was at that point, she stated that one Inspector Kingsley resurfaced and the mother of the victim pleaded with him to allow them to go with her son to enable them to visit traditional bone setters to continue treatment where the hospital stopped.

She said that Inspector Kingsley refused to grant their request but rather lied to them that they would avail him medical attention in Abuja and that he would be okay. 

She alleged that Inspector Kingsley later took him to SARS detention centre in Abuja only to return him to hospital when Police discovered that he was almost dead.

 It was at this juncture, she said that Inspector Kingsley called her mother, (whom he reluctantly gave his phone number in Kaduna) to come and take the victim to the traditional bone setters, a request he earlier turned down in Kaduna.

On arrival at the hospital with her mother, they could not find the victim who they later saw lying dead in a vehicle belonging to SARS.

Despite the circumstances of her brother’s death, she alleged that it became a herculean task to get SARS to release the body of the victim to the family for burial.

 After much pleading, the body of her late brother was finally released to the family who she said has been buried.

Meanwhile, the family of the victim, through their lawyer, is praying to the panel for N200m compensation for the death of Festus Idehen and for the trauma the family is going through over his untimely death.

When asked what led to her brother’s ordeal, she told the panel that the victim bought a car from his brother-in-law, Onyekachi which Inspector Kingsley claimed was a stolen car.

 She further said that the car in question is yet to be seen up until now.

The complainant, who could barely control her emotions towards the end of her narratives, informed the panel that they do not know the whereabouts of Onyekachi, who allegedly sold the car to her brother.

However, the panel adjourned the matter to December 15, 2020 for cross-examination of the complainant and continuation of hearing.

The panel also adjourned more cases for continuation of hearing on different dates.

Corereporters report that the case of alleged intimidation, confiscation of properties and disobedience of court order by the DPO, Maitama police division was adjourned to December 1, 2020 for cross-examination of complainant, Hon. Ngozika Ihuoma and defense. 

Similarly, the panel adjourned to December 2, 2020, another complaint involving alleged denial of access to justice and confiscation of properties filed by Mr. Gabriel Ofoma against Inspector Iliya Dangsedi (of CP monitoring unit and two other police officers, FCT Commissioner of Police and the IGP.

The matter was adjourned for cross-examination of complainants and for the Police to produce two other policemen who were with Inspector Iliya Dangsedi the day they collected land title documents allegedly belonging to the complainant, Gabriel Ofoma.

The complaint of alleged threat to life brought by Abdulsalam Husseini was struck out as the complainant was not ready to continue with the matter.

Also struck out is the case of extra judicial killing of Uchenna Emmanuel Dike against the Police.

Corereporters report that the panel adjourned to December 16, 2020 to enable it to hear a petition of alleged extra judicial killing of Obinna Jonah against defunct SARS FCT.

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