Wednesday, June 16, 2021

SARS always collected N1,000 ‘gate fee’ to see suspect: Petitioner

“For every visit, we were asked to pay N1,000 as ‘gate fee’ to get to where my brother was detained unlawfully.”

• March 18, 2021
Mohammed Adamu
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu (Photo Credit: @policeNG)

A petitioner, Francis Awulu, told the National Human Rights Commission’s independent panel that he paid policemen N1,000 as ‘gate fee’ every time he visited his brother (now dead) in the Special Anti-Robbery Squad’s cell.

The panel is investigating alleged human rights violations by SARS (now disbanded) and other police units.

Testifying on a petition by his family, Mr. Awulu alleged that his brother, Emmanuel, was killed even though the police collected N60,000 from him.

The petition was filed against Insp Cletus Atuma, SARS operatives, FCT commissioner of police, and Inspector-General of Police.

He told the panel that Mr. Atuma and other SARS officers beat his brother beyond recognition and killed him at the SARS headquarters.

Led by his counsel, Uche Uwazuruonye, Mr. Awulu said the deceased, a poultry farmer, was arrested on August 20, 2019, by Mr. Atuma at about 2:00 am in Gwagwalada.

“Immediately, my brother was taken into custody. He was denied access to his family and until he died.

“For every visit, we were asked to pay N1,000 as ‘gate fee’ to get to where my brother was detained unlawfully, which did not yield any result.

“On one of my visits, one Insp Wisdom advised me to pay N4 million to make sure that I get a listening ear from the SARs ‘ogas,'” Mr. Awulu disclosed.

Continuing, he said, ” I told him I could not afford such an amount. He collected the N8,000 I had on me. After the payment, Atuma informed me that my brother was a cultist.

“After much negotiation, Aruma demanded money, and I gave him N60,000 for the release of my brother. On August 26, 2019, we were told that Emmanuel had died.” 

Mr. Awulu pleaded with the panel to order compensation from the police for being responsible for his younger brother’s death, adding he was the breadwinner of the family, and he had six dependants.

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