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Edo panel summons police officers over extortion, assault of 61-year-old woman

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They turned me into bank ATM, victim declares • Obaseki expresses shock, mourns cleric

Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality, yesterday, ordered Tope and Balogun of Ogida Division, Benin City, to appear before it on December 17, 2020 to explain their role in the alleged extortion and assault of 61-year-old Mrs. Patience Okundaye.

Narrating her ordeal with the officers, who are both Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs) on January 5, 2019, Mrs. Okundaye, told the panel that some persons rescued her son from an attack by hoodlums and that one of the hoodlums was apprehended and handed over to the police.

She said she raised concerns over the officers’ negligence, as she was told that the suspect escaped from custody with handcuffs.

“The police took the boy to the police health centre with handcuffs, but less than 45 minutes, they called my son to say that the boy escaped with handcuffs. They invited us to the station and getting there, we found out that the boy had actually escaped.

“So, I wrote to the DPO that since the suspect had escaped, our lives were no longer safe, but they dragged me to the police station with only wrappers and singlet on my body, loaded my vehicle with the drinks we were to use on Sunday and went away with them.

“My son spent N600, 000 to bail those who were arrested from my compound. He also paid N200, 000 to bail me and my last child, while others spent close to a week in the cell before they were bailed,” she said.

She played the recorded video of how operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) raided her house and assaulted her, saying they turned her into an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) by constantly demanding money from her.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe, however, ordered the officers to appear before the panel on December 17, 2020.

MEANWHILE, Governor Godwin Obaseki, expressed shock over the death of the General Overseer of Spirit and Life Family Bible Church (SLFBC), Apostle Eunice Osagiede.

In a statement, yesterday, the governor mourned the passing of the cleric, noting that she is ‘simply’ irreplaceable, saying: “It is with a heavy heart that I received the news of the death of Osagiede.

He commiserated with her immediate family, leaders of the church and the body of Christ and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

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