How SARS officers attacked, left me paralysed — 34-year-old man tells panel


Ndukwe Ekekwe, a 34-year-old victim of police brutality, has narrated his experience with the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), to the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State government.

Mr Ekekwe, a businessman and shop owner at Alaba International market, told the panel how SARS officers threw him from a two-storey building leaving his spinal cord damaged.

Mr Ekekwe was wheeled into the panel sitting on Tuesday by his aged mother.

Narrating his experience to the panel, Mr Ekekwe said four SARS operatives visited his store on February 16, 2018 to arrest him for an unknown crime.

The officers were led by one Haruna Hamisu and they came in mufty, he said.

Mr Ekekwe, who narrated his ordeal in pidgin English, told the panel that his neighbours refused his arrest until the officers introduced themselves.

They brought out their SARS uniform before he was arrested and taken to FSARS, Ikeja.

“I asked them what my crime was, but none of them told me, up till this moment, I don’t know the offence I committed,” he said.

Ndukwe Ekekwe, a 34-year-old victim of police brutality

The victim said while at the police station, he was beaten, stabbed in his hand and on his back, tortured, and dumped in a cell where the inmates subjected him to another round of beating.

Mr Ekekwe further told the panel that the officers took him to his shop the next day, where they broke into his shop, auctioned off his goods and allowed people loot many items.

“I started shouting, I was shouting for help,” he said.

Mr Ekwekwe said while screaming for help, some of the officers took him to the second floor, where one of them pushed him off the two-storey building.

The victim said his spinal cord got broken and he was taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for treatment. Since the incident, he has been moving around in a wheelchair, with support from his mother and siblings.

Doris Okuwobi, a retired judge heading the judicial panel, admitted the hospital documents, X-rays, telephone numbers of the indicted officers and other documents tendered by the petitioners as exhibits.

Mrs Okuwobi adjourned the case for further hearing till November 13.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had set up the panel to probe police brutality and other rights abuses in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government following the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country two weeks ago.

The panel is to determine, among other things, adequate compensation for victims of police brutality for onward recommendation to the state government.

Where necessary, the panel will also recommend other remedial measures to the government.



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