The Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry into complaints of human rights violation by men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad hearing continued on Tuesday with a trader, Ndukwe Ekwekwe, who explained his bitter experience with SARS operatives that made him a wheelchair user after being thrown down from a two-storey building on February 16, 2018, in Lagos.
Ekwekwe told the panel that he was a dealer in phone accessories and other items, and had three shops at the Alaba Market in which he had goods worth N15m in his shops.
The trader said it was like every other day at his shop until trouble came when four arms-wielding SARS men showed up around 2pm on February 16, 2018, at his shop and began to handcuff him without any explanation but that the officers simply said they were acting on the order of the Inspector-General of Police..
Read his statement here;
“They immediately removed their SARS shirts and began to shoot and everyone ran away. I asked them what my crime was and they said the arrest was an order from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
I was handcuffed in one hand because they noticed I wasn’t a troublemaker. On our way, they stopped at Igando and came down from the car and were talking.
I used my other hand to reach my phone to try to call my mother, but the Inspector saw me, approached me and asked who gave me the guts to make a phone call and he took the phone, stepped on it and destroyed it.
He stabbed me on my wrist and back and I was hit on the head with the butt of a gun and beaten. They collected the N58,000 that was for my shop
I was left there till evening and I didn’t know my crime and till now I don’t know my crime. They kept saying that the intelligence report is on me.
At the night of that day (Feb. 17, 2018), I was taken to my three shops where I sell phone accessories.
They took away my goods worth N15million. I began shouting to attract attention and the commander told them to take me to the top of the two-storey plaza and I was thrown down from the building.
The SARS officer that threw me from that building is Hamza Haruna. They took me back to their office in my injured state in which i suffered a spinal injury from being thrown off the storey building, which led to my paralysis.
He told the panel that the police did not pay for his medical expenses and that he had to sell his house and landed property to offset the expenses”.
The panel admitted as exhibits several hospital documents and photographs and then adjourned till November 13 to hear Ekwekwe mother’s side of the story.