My cousin suffered memory loss after SARS broke his skull, man tells Lagos panel

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CHUKWU Vincent, a businessman in Lagos on Tuesday told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry how his cousin, Basil Ejiagwa, who is now dead developed brain tumour after his skull was broken by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Vincent, who testified before the panel said his cousin was arrested and severely tortured in 2014, adding that, the boy eventually died on November 17.

While being led in evidence by his lawyer, T.O Gazhali, Vincent said, “My cousin was arrested in May 2014 by policemen from the Igando police station in 2014 when he was returning home from his shop in Alaba International Market and he was detained for five days and tortured without committing any offence.”

He said the police broke two legs before transferring him to the SARS office where he suffered another round of brutal torture.

“The policemen hit him with brick iron hammer on his two legs until his legs were broken. After the torture, he was transferred to the SARS office at the Lagos police command in Ikeja where the torture continued.

“It was at the Ikeja SARS office that he had his skull fractured and suffered memory loss.”

Vincent said his cousin’s head had been fractured before he was eventually released by the SARS officers, thereby causing him brain tumour.

“When he was eventually released on May 31, 2014, they told us at the hospital at the Lagos state General Hospital at Igando that his head had been fractured with the butt of the gun.

“My cousin could neither walk nor remember anything. It was so bad that he couldn’t even remember that he had placed an order for his goods. He could not remember that his goods are on the sea.”

He said eventhough the court had ruled that the police should pay his cousin N40 million for damages but the police are yet to comply.

“He later developed a brain tumour as a result of the fractured skull. We have approached the Federal High Court in Lagos where the Judge ruled in favour of my cousin and ordered the police to pay him N40m damages which they are yet to pay. “

The panel admitted as exhibits hospital documents, including a bill of N1m and a doctor’s report; as well as the judgment of the Federal High Court in Lagos awarding N40m damages to the victim.

Counsel for the police, Joseph Ebosereme, sought an adjournment to cross-examine the witness.

The panel, however, adjourned till December 4, 2020.


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