Victim narrates brutalisation, sale of property by SARS men at panel
• Protests have made state, community policing inevitable, say Abiodun, DIG
• Lagos govt approves full reopening of markets
A Victim of brutality and human rights violations, yesterday, told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry, chaired by Justice Doris Okuwobi, how officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) brutalised him and sold his property.
The victim, Okoli Agu Abunike, in his petition marked LASG/JPI/01/2020, said that he was brutalised and detained for 47 days and his landed property was sold.
Abunike, led by his counsel, T. Olalekan Gazali, said: “I was arrested, beaten and paraded at Alaba International Market by SARS operatives and later taken to Ojo Police Station after my former boss accused me of fraud.”
Abunike told the panel that he was later released from SARS custody but filed a fundamental human rights suit against the squad at the Federal High Court Lagos before Justice Ibrahim Buba.
“The judge ruled in my favour and ordered SARS to pay me N10 million as damages. But all efforts to get the N10 million compensation awarded by the court have been futile,” he said
The panel, which adjourned the hearing of Abunike’s petition to November 3, 2020, could not hear the petition of a wheelchair-bound Mr. Ndukwe Ekekwe due to absence of the accused former SARS officer, ASP Haruna but was adjourned to November 3, 2020.
Also, the petitions of Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje and Mr. Basil Ejiagwa could not be heard due to the absence of the petitioners. Their matter was adjourned till November 6, 2020.
IN another development, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of South-West, Mr. Adeleye Oyebade, yesterday, said that the #EndSARS protests in the country have necessitated the establishment of state and community policing.
According to them, Nigeria is ripe enough for state and community policing to address the demands of the youths. The duo spoke at a peace consolidation meeting with youth, leaders, members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to address violence in the state.
MEANWHILE, the Lagos State government has approved full reopening of markets in the state to rejig the economy. The state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, disclosed this in a statement yesterday.
According to the statement by Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Gawat Jubril, both food and non-food markets can reopen every day.
He said: “The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the full resumption of operations of both food and non-food markets. They are now to open daily.”He said the governor took the decision to further enhance trade and commerce and mitigate the hardship of recent times.
“The governor also advised on continued observance of all safety protocols. That traders and their customers must adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols for their safety and the citizenry at large,” he added.