My cousin’s skull was broken by SARS operatives, petitioner tells Lagos panel

A Lagos businessman, Chukwu Vincent has told the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry how his cousin, Basil Ejiagwa who is now dead developed brain tumour after his skull was broken during torture by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad in 2014.

Vincent who testified before the panel on Tuesday told the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi led-panel that his cousin died on November 17, 2020, in his village in Imo State after six years of failing health.

While being led in evidence by his lawyer, T.O Gazhali, Vincent narrated: “My cousin was arrested in May by policemen from the Igando police station in 2014 when he was returning home from his shop in Alaba International Market and he was detained for five days and tortured without committing any offence.

“The policemen hit him with a brick and iron hammer on his two legs until his legs were broken. After the torture, he was transferred to the SARS office at the Lagos police command in Ikeja where the torture continued.

“It was at the Ikeja SARS office that he had his skull fractured and suffered memory loss.

“When he was eventually released on May 31, 2014, they told us at the hospital at the Lagos State General Hospital at Igando that his head had been fractured with the butt of the gun.

“My cousin could neither walk nor remember anything. It was so bad that he couldn’t even remember that he had placed an order for his goods. He could not remember that his goods are on the sea.

“He later developed a brain tumour as a result of the fractured skull. We have approached the Federal High Court in Lagos where the judge ruled in favour of my cousin and ordered the police to pay him N40m damages which they are yet to pay.”

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