My scrotum was damaged during 81-day detention by SARS, Oko Poly lecturer tells panel

A lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, Dr Justin Nwankwo, has told the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Extra Judiciary killings and Other Related Matters sitting in Awka, the state capital, how his scrotum was damaged during the 81 days he spent in SARS detention in Akwuzu.

Nwankwo who was a manager at Upper Class Hotel, Onitsha at the time of his arrest said he was tortured by the SARS officers and forced to implicate the hotel owners for using the hotel as a kidnapper’s den.

He added that the SARS officers under the supervision of CSP James Nwafor inflicted injuries on different parts of his body.

“My scrotum was damaged, my hair pulled and was hanged, it was done in order to force me to implicate the owner of the hotel for using the place was for kidnapping den

“My scrotum was damaged and many injuries were inflicted on me. Look at the scars on my forehead, my face, head, all these I incurred while in Awkuzu SARS detention.

“If you see my back, you would see scars from the electric iron used during the torture by the Awkuzu SARS led by James Nwafor. They went for my scrotum to force me to say what did not happen. They even wrote my statement and forced me to thumbprint it.

“In between the torture, if one intermittently fall unconscious, they will pour buckets of water on you.

“Honestly, I received the highest torture because they wanted me to be a prosecution witness in the matter of the owner of the hotel. There was so much torture so that I would agree that there were kidnapping activities at the hotel which was not true.

“I was tortured, incarcerated and almost killed by Awkuzu SARS. To the glory of God, I survived and even till today police have not brought any formal charges against us. We were arrested, detained for 81 days without any charge.

“This is why I approached the panel for the world to know that after 81 days in SARS detention and seven years after, we have not gotten any charge police apology or government apology about what happened at Upper Class Hotel, Onitsha in 2013.

“I seek for my name to be cleared because by the time the incident happened, we were tagged Otokoto in Onitsha.

“We are asking the panel to set us free from the mental torture and for the police and government to pay us compensation for the damages inflicted on us by Awkuzu SARS,” he said.

He also insisted that at the day of the incident somebody lodged in one of the hotel rooms and the manifest was submitted to Police and CID department.

“By the time the police came around 8 am, the lodger had left and person name somebody Obi had been earlier submitted to them.

“It was not a standard practice that hoteliers will search guests in hotel rooms,” he said.

According to him, the majority of those who normally lodge in the hotel were traders because the hotel was located inside the market.

“The hotel was demolished the same day they arrested us. So the police started and concluded the investigation of the case in a day and the government ordered for the demolition of the hotel the same day. In the same day, the police investigated the case, took the case to court and got judgment and order was executed the same day,” he added.

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