A trader and phone dealer, Mr. Ndukwe Ekekwe, who told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters that he was tortured and paralysed by the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, yesterday identified the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) who handled his case.
The 34-year-old trader, who was confined to a wheelchair, had earlier testified before the nine-man panel that he sustained a severe spinal cord inquiry after being thrown off a two-storey building at the Alaba International Market by SARS officers. During yesterday’s proceedings, while being crossexamined by the Police counsel,Emmanuel Eze, over his previous testimony, Ekekwe tendered the contact details and photographs of the IPO whom he simply identified as Hamza. The victim told the panel that he got the IPO’s photograph through his WhatsApp status which he snapped and reproduced with the help of his mother. When asked about the authenticity of the person in the picture, Ekekwe affirmed that Hamza was the man that took him to SARS office in Ikeja.
“This is the policeman that came to arrest me. There is nothing that will make me forget,” he said. When informed by the Police counsel that the photograph in question was not taken on the day of his arrest, he replied, “When I was handcuffed, how will I be able to snap him?” Describing the scenario during his arrest, Ekekwe said: “I requested for their (SARS) operative’s identification card but instead they brought out tear gas and gun.
“When people started asking who they were, they said they had orders from above to arrest me. They never told me my offence till today. “I have four shops and I sell phone accessories. When I see anything and I show the sample to my customers, if they are interested, I will buy it and sell to them”. “When I brought out my phone to make a call to my mother, the police quickly collected the phone from me.”