The Independent Investigative Panel on human rights violations by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units in Abuja, on Tuesday, 30 November, 2021 listened to how the police asked Bamidele Ogbeye to bring N5 million to secure the bail of his brother(Timothy Ogbeye) who was detained for four months in a case of alleged unlawful arrest, detention, assault, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Timothy Ogbeye was alleged to have connived with members of his robbery gang to steal a Toyota Venza and Toyota Camry cars belonging to the government.
Bamidele Ogbeye narrated that on the 22nd January 2020, his brother Timothy was arrested by officers of the defunct SARS at his car stand in Mpape, Abuja, and was immediately taken to Anambra State.
Testifying before Dr Garba Tetengi SAN, who stood in for the Chairman, Bamidele stated that his brother who is a car dealer was accused by officers of the defunct SARS that on the 2nd January 2020 he and other armed members came down to Anambra and stole the two government vehicles.
Bamidele stated that he immediately traveled to Anambra SARS office, Awkuzu where he was informed of the allegations against his brother and that when he demanded to see his brother he was denied access to him saying he had to engage the services of a lawyer, to enable him to see his brother.
According to him, when he finally saw his brother, he was looking disfigured and could barely recognise him (Bamidele).
He further requested for the police to release the victim so that he can take him for treatment, but his request was denied.
Bamidele said that he had also requested that the police should charge him to court, but they refused and that refusal necessitated his lawyer to sue the police at Anambra state High Court for the enforcement of the victim’s fundamental rights in accordance with the law.
He noted that despite the pendency of the suit before the Anambra State High Court which also ordered for his appearance, the police disobeyed the orders.
The court further gave another order for his release. While his lawyer was in the process of getting Timothy released the police rearrested him.
The arrest was when his counsel was trying perfect his bail condition and the second arrest further led to denial of his fundamental to liberty.
The lawyer immediately petitioned the Commissioner of Police in Anambra and the matter was referred to X-Squad for investigation.
In another case of alleged unlawful arrest, detention and extortion filed before the panel by the same Timothy Ogbeye against officers of defunct SARS in Asaba, Delta state, the complainant testified his ordeal before the panel.
Narrating his case before Dr Garba Tetengi SAN, Ogbeye said that on the 3rd of August one Eze Godwin bought a Lexus RX 330 at the cost of N1,700,000.
The buyer, Eze Godwin called him and said that on his way to Port Harcourt the following day, the police stopped him in Delta and asked for the document of the vehicle.
After going through the papers, the police spoke with him over the phone and he confirmed that he sold the car to Eze Godwin and he was released, he stated.
On getting to Port Harcourt, Eze Godwin called Timothy and said somebody was interested in the Lexus and is willing to pay N1,900,000, “so I should look for a Toyota Corolla car. We bargained and agreed on a fixed price of N1,700,000.
“Mr Eze now begged me to register the Toyota Corolla in his name and he sent money which I did and also got number plate for the car.
After three days of registration, I travelled out of Abuja and left the documents with my brother to give to Eze when he pays for the car.
“Only for me to be informed that Eze came to my car stand with police officers from Asaba and destroyed my car stand and kept screaming that I am a thief”.
He said that police beat up his brother in the process and carried the Toyota Corolla with all the documents and a Mercedes C200 to Asaba, Delta state.
“I had to pay N300,000 to secure the release of my brother and my prayer before the panel is to be compensated in the sum of N10 million for the violation of my fundamental human rights”, the petitioner begs the panel.
The matter has been adjourned to 14th December,for definite defense