How Policemen Battered And Stripped Me Naked, Man Tells Lagos Panel

(FILE) Members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution at a sitting on November 28, 2020.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS and other related matters on Tuesday heard the petition of a man who accused men of the Nigeria Police Force of battering him.

Monday Ojon was among the 10 petitions listed for hearing.

The panel reserved judgment till a later date in three of the petitions. It also heard the encounter between a petitioner Ojon and the Nigerian police.

Ojon testified that he was stripped naked and beaten by a police officer even when he did not commit any offence.

“On 4th December 2013, I was coming from CMS, going to Tinubu, a policeman Mr. Kabiru with force number 354962, he was coming with a stick and gun in both hands respectively, and he asked where I was going? I told him I was going to Tinubu. He said I should kneel down, I asked for what? He said I should kneel down now and he started to beat me with the stick until the stick got broken into pieces,” he said.

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“He picked another plank and started beating me with it until I knelt down. He told me to remove my clothes, but I refused and started shouting which attracted passers-by, he said he would waste me and cocked the gunshot it into the air. He told me to undress naked, he then told me to start crawling from that point to CMS bus stop with others whom we met on the way.

“Some motorists who accosted him were threatened and they left. He also told a man and a girl to kneel down and when they refused, he shot into the air. A friend and motorcyclist who saw me asked what I did, when I told him what happened, he said he was going to report at Adeniji Adele police station.

“A fellow policeman who saw us, talked to him privately and asked for my cloth. I told him that my cloth was at the other end, he then told me to go and take my cloth and go. Suddenly, a lion building police patrol van with the DPO came to the scene and took me to lion building and told me to go and treat myself because I had been battered.”

According to the petitioner, efforts to get justice at the Lion Building Police Station did not yield any results. Instead he says he was offered a paltry ₦100, 000 which he refused.

The petitioner is seeking adequate compensation and he wants the panel to help him get justice against the police office, Mr. Kabiru who he alleged committed the assault.

#EndSARS: Petitioner demands ₦200m Compensation

A petitioner, Lucky Philemon testifies before the Lagos State judicial panel in Lekki on February 27, 2021.

 

A petitioner, Lucky Philemon who testified today before the Lagos State judicial panel has asked to be paid compensated with the sum of ₦200m as damages for the inconvenience of losing his limbs at the Lekki toll gate protest of Oct 20, 2020.

Philemon who says he was shot on the night of October 20 is also demanding ₦1.5m for psychological evaluation, ₦5m for the cost of subsequent medical care and $50,000 for Prosthetic limbs.

The petitioner was led in evidence by his lawyer, Oluwole Bamgbala.

In his testimony said, “On the 20th October 2020, I was at Lekki tollgate with others, when the military came at around 6-7 pm and started shooting.

“We all sat on the ground; they shot me on my left leg. I slumped, when I woke up, I saw myself in the midst of dead protesters, somebody now said this one is still alive because I raised my hand.

“Then I was rescued and taken to Reddington Hospital Lekki. I was taken to the theatre where the doctor said they have to amputate my leg,” he said.

Philemon, who claimed he spent 32 days at the hospital tendered in evidence photographs showing his physical state before and after the amputation of his leg.

He asked the panel to pay him the compensation to enable him to rebuild his life around the sad new reality foisted on him by government agents at the Lekki toll gate on the 20th of Oct.

Under cross-examination, the counsel to the Lagos State government, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) however pointed out some inconsistencies in his testimony.

“The petitioner has a discrepancy about his state of origin, he is from Plateau state and not Kaduna state as stated in his petition.

“Philemon who also stated that he had worked for a construction company for three days before the incident could not produce his identity card.

“He also admitted that he was still at the Lekki tollgate plaza till about 8 pm but the counsel says, “from videos in circulation, the vicinity of the Lekki tollgate had been evacuated at about 8 pm,” Owonikoko said..

Contrary to the claims that he was shot at about 6-7 pm when the military came to the toll gate, the counsel said medical records show that the petitioner was brought to Reddington Hospital at 11:30 pm and he was said to have stated on arrival at the hospital that he was shot 30 minutes before his arrival.

The cross-examination was stalled when the panel realised that the medical records of the petitioner was not in evidence before the panel.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, thereafter adjourned all cases involving victims who got treatments at various hospitals to a date to be communicated to their counsel. The panel did this so it could access the medical records from Reddington and other Hospitals.

Justice Okuwobi held that, “Reddington and other Hospitals will be contacted and their medical records subpoenaed, due to this all cases connected to the hospitals will be adjourned to another day to be communicated to parties.”

Police Brutality: Petitioner Demands ₦200m Compensation For Amputated Leg

Chairman of the FCT Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Justice Suleiman Galadima speaks during a sitting in Abuja on November 30, 2020.

 

The National Human Rights Commission Independent Investigation Panel has been asked to compel the Nigeria Police Force to pay a compensation of ₦200 million to a petitioner, Kingsley Kalu who allegedly lost his left leg as a result of an accidental discharge from the rifle of Daniel Akpabio of the FCT Police Command.

At the resumed sitting of the panel in Abuja on Monday, Kalu said that his left leg was amputated in 2017 after there was an accidental discharge from the rifle of a police officer who has been dismissed from the force.

He also asked for a refund of all the hospital bills procured by him and an artificial limb, claiming the police only gave him ₦150,000 since the incident occurred.

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According to the petitioner, the lawyer to the police opposed the request for compensation to be paid by the Force as he insists that the right person to compensate the petitioner is the dismissed officer, Daniel Akpabio.

After listening to the oral testimony of the petitioner and the cross-examination by the police, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima fixed March 24 for the re-examination of the petitioner.

How I Was Shot, Got My Leg Amputated, Petitioner Tells Judicial Panel

In this photo taken on January 6, 2021, Mr Suleiman Ibrahim gives his testimony before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry in Taraba State.

 

A 25-year-old carpenter, Suleiman Ibrahim, has told the judicial panel in Taraba State how his right leg was amputated.

Ibrahim informed the Justice Christopher Awubra panel which sat in Jalingo on Wednesday that his leg was amputated after he was shot at a close range by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

He is also seeking N100 million as compensation for the damage done to his leg to help cater for the needs of his family.

The petitioner narrated that the shooting took place in March 2019, a few meters away from his residence in Jalingo metropolis.

He identified the alleged trigger-happy NSCDC official as one Sylvester Yunusa with service number 37938.

Ibrahim said,

On the 12th day of March 2019, at about 10am when I was at home with my two friends, suddenly my mum sort to know if my younger brother was at home because everyone was scampering for safety in the streets.

She asked me to go check him out with my friends and on our way, we heard gunshots and I told my friends to return home.

In the process, a civil defence vehicle double-crossed us, and one Sylvester Yunusa alighted from the vehicle and shot me on my right leg. Thereafter, two officers of the NSCDC came close to me with rifles and threatened to shoot me again.

When they left, I managed to knock on a nearby gate for safety. They opened the gate, pulled me in, and called my father to tell him.

My parents took me to the hospital, got me treated, and, thereafter, the doctors told my parents that the muscles holding the leg are no more, hence amputation will take place. My father insisted that my leg will not be cut off and sort for a referral to Kano where they said the same and my leg was amputated.

After the amputation, I was treated and returned to Jalingo. Officials of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) came around, got my submissions, and attached same with a petition to the commandant of Taraba NSCDC.

I was also taken to the NSCDC office where I was asked to get my witnesses and I did. My three witnesses were asked not to leave the premises of the NSCDC until the human rights commission intervened.

Justice Christopher Awubra and other members of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry at a sitting in Taraba State on January 6, 2021.

 

As Ibrahim shed tears while giving his testimony, Justice Awubra pleaded with him to compose himself and present his case, saying the damage had been done.

He also urged the counsel to the petitioner, Dalhatu Hamman, to plead with him to calm his nerves for the panel to get the true picture of what transpired.

The 25-year-old who said he is the eldest in the family of 18 and the breadwinner, lamented that his family, including his aged parents, have become mendicants due to his inability to attend to his profession.

After Ibrahim narrated his ordeal to the panel, Hamman pleaded for an adjournment in order to present more witnesses.

He told the panel that the amount being requested as compensation if granted would go a long way in putting smiles on the faces of his client’s family members.

In his remarks, Justice Awubra granted the lawyer’s request and adjourned the case until January 27.

#EndSARS: Petitioner Dies One Week Before Lagos Panel Hears His Case

File photo of Lagos State Judicial Panel

 

One of the petitioners, Basil Ejiagwa who was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday at the Lagos Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of brutality by the disbanded SARS Operatives, is dead.

His cousin, Chukwu Vincent who testified before the panel said he died exactly a week ago, on the 17th of November, 2020.

Ejiagwa was listed as the third petitioner to be heard but when his case was called, his counsel Olalekan Gazali told the panel that “the petitioner is no more, we lost him last week as a result of the torture meted to him by SARS.

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“His wife came to the panel all the way from Imo State with his picture to show the state of his health but unfortunately the matter did not go on at the last sitting, the counsel said.”

Ejiagwa’s name on the list of petitioners scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, November 24.

 

The counsel further said that his client died as a result of the torture he suffered in the hands of SARS officials.

He asked the panel to allow him instead call on a family member to testify.

“He is being represented by a family member who has his death certificate, hospital bills other hospital records and is ready to testify on his behalf,” the counsel told the panel.

At this point, the counsel representing the police, Mr. Joseph Eboseremen raised an objection to the effect that, “it can’t be proven that his death was directly caused by the torture from SARS as it took place a while ago,”

The Chairman of the Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi agrees and strikes out this statement.

The relative, Mr Chukwu Vincent, a businessman who describes himself as a cousin to the deceased is then called upon to testify.

“According to Basil, he was arrested by men of the police, on his way from work at Alaba while going home. He was taken to Igando Police Station where he spent five days. They damaged his legs while hitting him with a hammer while he was there and he was later taken to Ikeja.

“We rushed him to El-Shaddai Hospital at Iba/Igando.

“The hospital results said the ‘hitting’ was responsible. He even travelled abroad at some point and it was him who filed this matter,” the witness, Vincent testified.

Vincent added that “We noticed gashes on his head from where he claimed to have been beaten by police with their guns. He was eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor. The incident happened in 2014 and we tried to treat it till 2017. I spent my personal money too and as time went by, it got worse and he began to lose his memory.

“When his condition was too severe, the family decided to move him out of Lagos to the east, then we started searching for a good lawyer to take up the case,” the witness said.

The Panel then admitted in evidence hospital documents including photocopies of drug prescription forms and a bill of N1m for his treatment. The hospital documents came from the Lagos State Government General Hospital in Alimosho and the El-Shaddai Hospital also in the Iba/Igando area of the state.

The panel also admitted a N40million judgement the deceased obtained in his favour from the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Through the witness, the family is appealing to the panel to help enforce the judgment against the police. The judgment was said to have been delivered on the 16th of April 2019.

Woman Who Lost Two-Month Pregnancy In Detention Is Evans’ Sister, Police Counsel Tells Lagos Judicial Panel

Legal Officer, Intelligence Response Team, Nosa Uhumwango at Lagos Judicial Panel on Inquiry on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

 

The police during the sitting of Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Tuesday said a petitioner, Nzube Obiechina who lost her two-month pregnancy in police detention is a sister to an alleged notorious kidnapper, Evans.

During cross-examination, Legal Officer, Intelligence Response Team, Nosa Uhumwango picked faults in the testimony of Mrs Obiechina, saying there are contradictions in her statement and her testimonies.

Uhumwango said Obiechina who is a school teacher was arrested in 2017 because her phone number and that of her husband were allegedly used by the notorious alleged kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, to make contact with the family of a kidnap victim to collect $1million ransom.

Mrs Nzube Obiechina during cross-examination at Lagos Judicial Panel on Inquiry on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

 

The schoolteacher and her husband, Ogechukwu, had first appeared on October 31 before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing cases of rights violations by men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Obiechina had told the panel how she was arrested by SARS, detained, and tortured during which she lost her two-month pregnancy.

But during Tuesday’s (today) sitting, the police legal counsel informed the judicial panel that Obiechina was Evans’ sister.


See the conversation during the cross-examination below:

Legal Officer IRT: Do you know why you were arrested?

Obechina: No

Legal Officer IRT: Are you related to Evans’

Obiechina: Who is Evans?

Legal Officer IRT: The popular Evans.


Obiechina then asked for the full name of Evans and she was told. She, thereafter, admitted that the person identified as her brother. She also admitted the person was arrested for kidnapping.

While explaining the connection between Evans and the woman to the panel, the lawyer said, “Evans was arrested because of the invitation of Mrs Obiechina who led the (police) team to arrest Evans. It was her who led us to Evans. We kept her for five days and that was why we were able to arrest Evans.”

The lawyer, Uhumwango then asked Obiechina: “Are you aware that one Umeh Francis was kidnapped sometime in 2016 and a ransom of $1m was collected and the said Umeh reported the case to the police?”

In response, the schoolteacher said, “I am not aware.”

Uhumwango told the panel that the police traced three phone numbers used by Evans in the operation and collection of the $1m ransom and the phone numbers of the couple – Mr and Mrs Obiechina were two of the three numbers.

The panel later adjourned the case till December 8 for the adoption of summons.

 

Watch the full video of the panel of inquiry below…