‘SARS Officers took money Wike gave to me’, retiree tells Judicial Commission

Tina Amanda

A 69-yeargold Pensioner, Ikpulo Davies has told the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Police brutalities he was physically and psychologically tortured for no crime by Officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.

The retiree also said that the SARS Officers diverted the money giving to him by Governor Nyesom Wike in appreciation to the COVID-19 suggestions he made.

Davies told the Commission that the Governor invited him through the Chief of staff who in turn sent SARS Officers to pick him from his marine base residence on 17 April, 2020, but on picking him up, they drove him straight to SARS cell where he spent the night.

According to him, on 18 April, he was taken from the cell to the government house, he met with the governor who spoke to him kindly, only for the SARS Officers to give him five thousand naira out of the money given to him by the governor and drove him back to SARS cell Rukpokwu were he was detained till 20th April and later bailed himself with one hundred and two thousand naira.

He demanded that his smart phone which was confiscated by the SARS Officers be given back to him, as there are important documents in it.

Meanwhile, a legal practitioner and the Chairman of Bille Council of Chiefs, Bennet Okpokiye Dokubo, has demanded that one hundred million naira be paid by the Nigeria Police for the alleged killing of two sons of the kingdom, Mr.Taminotonye Johnson Dei and Mr. Endurance Jonhbul, and for the torture of several others by the Operatives of Anti-kidnapping Unit of the State Police.

Chief Dokubo said the council is demanding fifty million naira to be paid to each of the deceased families, while the sum of five million naira each be paid to the other two indigenes of Bille kingdom, Mr. Oguru Diri and Mr. Brown Birena, whom he alleged their two hands were macheted by Police Officers. He said that the money demanded will take care of the wives and children of the deceased families.

Chief Dokubo said that on the 17th of January, 2020, some Bille Youths and Krakrama Community youths engaged in a fight at the state secretariat when the Secretary to State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo invited Bille kingdom and Krakrama for a meeting for the settlement of a dispute.

According to him, the meeting was ongoing at the SSG’s office when information reached them that the youths of both communities were fighting. He noted that the Police was called to calm the situation on the orders of the SSG.

He told the commission that the Anti- kidnapping Operatives arrested the Youths at the State secretariat, later transfered the matter to SARS where it was charged to court and the court granted them bail and dismissed the case, but Taminotonye Johnson Dei and Endurance Jonhbul who were arrested alongside other youths have not been seen till date.

“Taminotonye Johnson Dei and Endurance Johnbull are presumed to be dead, while Oguru Diri and Brown Birena who were matcheted with the intension to destroy their two hands from functioning were taken to hospital where they were treated. So we demand for justice”

Also, one Sampson Akpor has demanded justice for his manager, Late Linus David who was shot dead on 25, September, 2015, by Police Officers at tourist beach while conveying fish feed meant for his Fishing Farming business. He explained that till date, Justice is yet to be served even after the then Commissioner of Police CP Musa Kimo arraigned the officer who committed the crime and promised Justice.

Another petitioner, Chijioke Ohanugo, a car dealer, demanded for the release of the car he bought on 21st February, 2019 from someone in Anambra at rate of one million, sixty thousand naira, and was arrested by SARS Officers three weeks after the purchase, detained and the car confiscated till date.