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‘SARS operatives tortured me for refusing to pay N5million bribe,’ Petitioner tells Anambra panel



A car dealer, Timothy Ogbeye, on Wednesday, a panel of inquiry put in place by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Anambra State how he was tortured by operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for refusing to pay a N5million bribe.

In a petition marked 2020/IIP-SARS/ABJ/120, Ogbeye alleged unlawful arrest and detention, threat to life, assault, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Listed as respondents are in the matter are – Inspectors Oriyomi Aregbelo, Uche Onnonogbo, Andrew James and Patrick Agbazue.

Others are officer in charge of SARS in Anambra, the state Commissioner of Police, and the Inspector-General of Police.

He said: “I was arrested in Abuja with my two brothers and taken to Anambra where I was beaten and tortured by SARS operatives.

“On the third day, I was brought out and Agbazue told me that if I want peace, I should pay N5million.

“I told him that I didn’t have such money. He then ordered that I should be taken back into the cell.”

The petitioner said he filed a suit against the police while in detention and court ordered the police to produce him.

READ ALSO: ‘SARS operatives killed my son in my presence,’ Woman tells NHRC panel

Ogbeye added: “The police refused to comply. The same court ordered that I should be released but the police refused to do so.

“During a visit to the SARS facility by a judge, the police lied to him that I was in detention for buying a stolen vehicle.”

The petitioner, therefore, urged the panel to use its power to order the police to pay him N10 million as compensation for the injustice and torture.

After listening to his testimony, the panel chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima adjourned the matter till May 3 for cross-examination.

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