Pathetic: 'SARS threw me down from two-storey building', Trader narrates

By Emeh Joy
A trader identified as Ndukwe Ekwekwe narrates to the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry his ordeal in the hands of men of the recently disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

The hearing of the complaints of human right violation by the men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry is still ongoing as a trader identified as Ndukwe Ekwekwe narrated on Tuesday, his ordeal in the hands of the SARS officers.

Ekwekwe told the story of how he ended up in a wheelchair after SARS operatives threw him down from a two-storey building on February 16, 2018, in Lagos State.

Punch News reported that Ekwekwe, who was escorted to the panel by his mother, told the panel that he was a businessman that deals in phone accessories and other electronic devices and had three shops in Alaba Market.

Ekwekwe speaking in Pidgin English said things were okay with him until four-armed SARS officers showed up at his shop at around 2 PM on February 16, 2018, and starting handcuffing him without any explanation.

According to him, when he asked his offence, he was simply told that they are acting on the order of the Inspector-General of Police.

When his neighbours in the market had come to inquire what was happening, the police officers started to shoot into the air and even fired teargas to disperse them.

He attempted bringing out his phone to put a call across to his mother, but his phone was collected from him and smashed to the ground. One of them started stabbing him in his neck, hand and back while another hit his head with the butt of a gun.

Ekwekwe added that they extorted from him the N58,000 he had with him while en route the SARS office in Ikeja. They stripped him naked and took him to the SARS torture ground where they torture suspects.

The SARS men who torture suspects at the torture ground started slapping him on getting to place while one of them asked one of the officers that brought him "whether they should fire me, but the people who brought me said no".

Ekwekwe told the panel that he was taken back to his shop the following night. On getting there, they started breaking down his shop while auctioning his goods. He said he had goods worth N15 million in his shop.

When he tried reacting in anger, the SARS operatives threw him down from the second floor of the building. This resulted in him sustaining a spinal cord injury which further led to his confinement in a wheelchair after a surgical surgery.

He added that he had sold his land and house, and his family lost everything in the bid to settle the hospital bills.

The panel admitted as exhibits hospital documents and photographs while adjourning the hearing till November 13 to hear Ekwekwe's mother's side of the story.