An alleged victim of police brutality in Lagos State, Nzube Obiechina has narrated to the Lagos Judicial Panel how she lost two months pregnancy following tortured by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS)
Penpushing reports that the victim gave graphic details of her plight during the panel proceedings on Saturday, adding her husband was not spare of beaten when he for search at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) office.
“I was two months pregnant, they were beating me, I was urinating on my cloth, they said they will kill me. They took me to the ‘shrine’, hang me there, beat me, slap me, they said they are going to force the baby out of me and I will die there,” she narrated.
Penpushing further reports that, the woman told the panel she was put in an open-cell where she was beaten by rain and scorched by sunshine for a week, with no food to eat or water to drink.
The woman with emotional tale said she suffered torture alongside her husband who was equally beaten and brutalized, and subsequently thrown the two of them in custody of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ikeja, Lagos State for twenty-two days
Penpsuhing also reports that the couple approached the judiciary after their release and demanding a N2 million damage awarded to them by the Federal High Court, Ikeja, which the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) authority have not obeyed the court ruling.
The woman recalled that her ordeal started after receiving a text from DHL on November 1, 2017, saying she had a parcel with them, adding that the caller requested for her address and occupation which refused to disclose because, she was not expecting any parcel.
“I received a text message from the DHL that I have a parcel with them with an unknown number. I am teacher and my husband is a businessman. Later on the day, the number called me whether I have seen the text. I said no, because I’m not expecting any parcel.”
Penpushing reports that, the woman told the panel that her husband tried calling the number but it was switched off and thereafter instructed her that when the caller calls next, she should tell her the address of the school she works.
“The same person called with another number and asked for the address of the school and I told him. He said he is a DHL officer and that when he comes, he will explain better. He called two hours later that he has gotten to the school. On getting to the school gate, I saw a black jeep with huge men inside and one man was on a DHL apron coming outside’.
“He was calling me to confirm I’m the one and giving a signal to others. Immediately they approached me, they started beating me and that I should enter the car. They said I am a thief, armed robber and a kidnapper. He removed the DHL apron and put in the booth.”
The teacher said the headmaster of the school who was peeping through the window and observing that something was wrong and called some teachers to join him at the gate.
The woman said she was two months pregnant then, adding that, “by the time they came, he was pointing a gun at me and said I would follow them, that they were police and from SARS.”, stressing that as at the time she was forced to their office she was reportedly tortured, beaten and faced interrogation.
Penpushing further reports that, the victim added that her phone was seized and her husband had no idea where she was “but kept going from one police station to another searching for her”.
“I begged them to give me my phone. Christian brought the phone and put it on loudspeaker. He (my husband) was asking where I was, it was Christian that gave him the direction of where to come and meet him. Area F, Ikeja. Immediately they saw him, they started beating him, used gun to hit his head, put tyre on his neck and said they will kill him there,” she said.
“They told me I should pray to God to set me free, if not, they will kill me like others. Around 7pm, they took us to Federal SARS, Ikeja. That was how I was arrested and my husband too joined.
“They said we are going to rot in there because we have not provided the suspect they are looking for. For one week, I did not eat, I did not drink, a pregnant woman.”
Penpushing also reports that the woman told the panel that she lost the pregnancy in the process adding that this was confirmed when she went to the hospital after her release, stating that the same Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officers and others intruded into their house and re-arrested her husband.
The victim said her husband spent two weeks in custody this time and their lawyer wrote to them (police) to release him on orders from the Federal High Court, adding, “the case was rendered at the Federal High a court, Ikeja and we were awarded N2 million for the torture and brutality of the SARS. Since then, they’ve not paid the money,” .
Penpushing reports that, the woman told the panel that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) appealed the judgment at the Lagos State court of appeal and this was dismissed on March 25.
Meanwhile, the panel headed by Justice Dorris Okuwobi, a retired judge accepted the judgment of the High Court and Court of Appeal as Exbibit A and Exhibit B, and thereafter adjourned the case till November 3, when the alleged Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) operatives are expected to appear before the panel.