A 50 year old man made a shocking revelation the day before that SARS attacked him, but he showed them in no small way that he could defeat them.
A 50-year-old vigilante, Agbodemu Ishola, yesterday, has disclosed that some members of Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, directly shot at him and the bullet did not penetrate his body because he had been ‘fortified’ by his father.
Ishola made the disclosure before the Presidential Panel on Special Anti-robbery Squad ,SARS, Reform sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, where he was testifying against alleged violation of his fundamental human rights by SARS officers in 2017. The public hearing chaired by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, was told that the complainant was unlawfully detained and tortured by SARS, and is currently receiving medical attention at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
The complainant, who resides at No. 1 Jones St., Apapa Road, Ebute Meta in Lagos, also accused SARS of unlawful arrests and detention, extortion as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. He said, “On March 3, 2017, at 5.00 p.m., I heard a gunshot and saw people running helter-skelter.
I saw men with guns in mufti, they came with a van without number plates. “I got out and saw that the men had raided some of the residents. I tried to approach them with my Vigilance Identity Card but was shot by the men. “The bullets did not penetrate into my body because I was fortified by my father. I am a native of Osun State, no gunshot can penetrate into my body,” he told the panel. The complainant said that the SARS members removed their mufti when they were about to leave.
“And I saw SARS logo on them,” he said. The defence counsel, Mr. S. Idachaba, objected to the claims of the complainant, saying that there was no case of gunshot in the medical report presented by him. After 15 minutes break, the chairman of the panel ruled that the case be put on hold in order to give room for more evidence. The public hearing will continue today and it has received 36 complaints in South-West Zone on alleged human rights violation by SARS.
“Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a financial, political, religious or ideological aim.” – Wikipedia
What becomes of a nation when those whose responsibility is to enforce the law are those who break it the most?
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a division of the police, has become a cancer; targeting mostly the youth, the future of the nation who now cower in fear of their animalistic antics.
If you are unfortunate to be accosted by these uncouth, ill-mannered, uneducated men, you may — if grace doesn’t shine your way — end up being a victim of torture, ruthless beating, and extortion.
Dressed in all black, SARS officers look brutish, intimidating, and unprofessional. The only thing special about them is their unexplainable disregard for life and the law.
To solve a problem, one must go to the root. Treating the SARS situation the way the federal government handled the codeine epidemic will be like putting a band-aid on a broken leg.
When you get arrested by SARS (or any Nigerian police for that matter), there is no protocol whatsoever. You don’t have your rights read to you and you are not told why you are being arrested.
They just ‘wing it’ — throwing a number of baseless accusations your way.
The most common is that you are an internet fraudster or as it is coined in Nigeria — ‘yahoo boy’ or ‘G-boy’.
The next common accusation is being a cultist which just makes one wonder what business an anti-robbery squad has to do with cultism.
That aside, the only visible way SARS tries to find guilt of being a ‘yahoo boy’ is by searching your car, personal emails (without a warrant), texts, and phone calls.
I guess ‘innocent until proven guilty’ isn’t just the Nigerian way.
Whether or not incriminating evidence is found on you, if you’re lucky your case will end at the ATM. They tell you to “bail yourself”.
If you aren’t so fortunate to be able to pay your way out, they take you down to their station where you will be subjected to torture and inhumane living condition/treatment until someone comes to bail you out.
From all the testimonies of their victims, I think it’s safe to assume that their aim is financial. Unless there are other political strings that aren’t apparent (theory for another day).
Stories about SARS harassment dates back to more than a decade but as the social media world has taken over, testimonies flood Facebook pages and Twitter timelines on a daily basis.
Is social media as powerful as we think or is the government just turning a blind eye to the cries of Nigerians?
In December 2017, after years of silence, the #EndSARS kicked-off to raise awareness, with the hopes that the government would put an end to the menace.
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