I have picture of SARS officer that broke my spine, man tells Lagos panel

NDUKWE Ekwekwe, one of the petitioners at the ongoing Lagos panel of inquiry has presented before the panel the picture of one of the SARS officers that broke his spine.

Ekwekwe during cross-examination by the legal representative of the Nigerian Police, Emmanuel Eze, presented the phone number with a picture of a fair-complexioned and bearded man he identified as Hamza Haruna, stressing that he was the Investigating Police Officer that took him to the hospital after his spine was broken.

Being cross-examined by the legal representative of the Nigerian Police, Emmanuel Eze, Ndukwe told the Panel that he got the picture of Hamzah through his WhatsApp status.

“When they came to my shop at the Alaba International Market, they wore a T-shirt written at the back FSARS. Among them, I know and identify the IPO. His name is Hamzah and I have his phone contact. I was able to get his picture through the number he gave to my mother when I was at LUTH. His number is 07060712007. He is one of the officers. He was the person that arrested me and took me to the Ikeja police command for torturing,” Ekwekwe narrated.

Ekwekwe said Hamzah was the one that confined him to the wheelchair and made his condition worse.

“He was the devil that confined me to the wheelchair. I know and recognize him because I am not blind. When they came for my arrest, I wasn’t shown any ID card but when the people that were present requested to see their ID cards, they shot in the air and released teargas.”

He said it was during his two days in detention that the SARs officers broke his spine and tooth, adding that he has spent four years on a wheelchair since then.

“As at this moment, I didn’t know what I have done wrong. They didn’t tell me. I was only told it was an order from the Inspector General of Police. I was arrested by two police officers but others joined hands to torture me at Ikeja police command. I spent two days in detention. I was arrested around 2 pm and on the following day around 4 pm, they have broken my spine and teeth. And since then I have been on the wheelchair for four years.”

On his part, Eze prayed the panel for an adjournment saying that he need to conduct thorough investigation.

    “Because of the involvement of SARS and other tactical teams, We are applying for an adjournment. He has given a name and the number he provided didn’t go through.  In the overall interest of justice, I pray for an adjournment to enable us conduct thorough investigation into the matter.”

    Meanwhile, Justice Doris Okuwobi said she is not happy with the pace at which the panel is moving, adding that over 100 petitions are still on the ground to be heard.

    “This petition is one of over 100 petitions to be heard.

    “I am constraint to consider this adjournment to December 1, 2020. We can’t continue at these baby steps. We have all hands on deck for cases to continue at a fast rate. We have just six months to conclude with all the petitions.”


    'Niyi worked with The ICIR as an Investigative Reporter and Fact-checker from 2020 till September 2022. You can shoot him an email via [email protected]. You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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