Marc Chidebere Nwadi, a Nigerian, has told his story of police brutality.
Lagos resident Nwadi says he was detained and tortured by police officers hours after arriving in the state from the southeast in 1999.
Nwadi recounted his experience before the Lagos State Investigation and Restitution Judicial Panel for the Victims of the Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS) on Saturday.
According to him, he left Abia State in May 1999 to see his brother in Lagos.
The petitioner said that he arrived in Lagos around 8:00 p.m., but when he found out that his brother no longer lived at the address they sent him, he decided to meet an uncle in Ojuelegba to help him.
“I arrived in Lagos at 8 pm and was heading to Desert Street, Egbeda. It was late, around 9:30 pm. When I got there, they told me that my brother no longer lived there. The new occupants (a barber shop) didn’t know my brother’s new address, ”he said.
“I begged them to let me sleep in the tent and I slept there until morning.
“I took my Malboro bag with me, trying to get to Ojuelegba from Oshodi to meet a guy who could help, then a van passed by.
“People ran, but I was confused and before I could react, they grabbed me, beat me and hit my head with the butt of a gun.
“When I asked him what he was doing, they beat me and then took me to the Idimu police station along with others.”
Nwadi alleged that a police officer named Friday asked him and others who were arrested to pay N100,000.
The petitioner said that although he showed his bus ticket to the policemen, Friday tore the paper, kicked him in the stomach and pushed him back to the cell.
Nwadi alleged that a month after his arrest, he was told to bring N10,000, but since he had no money, a man who said his name was “Enyeama” took him to the SARS office in Ikeja.
He claimed that after three months, he was taken to a nearby court where he was charged with armed robbery and sent to Kirikiri Intermediate Prison.
“After three years, I developed partial blindness and deafness from the slaps I received. I did not know that telling the police that you have no money makes them more angry, “he added.
He also said that Eric, a member of the National Youth Services Corps (NYSC) who was serving in Kirikiri prison, helped communicate with his family.
Nwadi also noted that he was linked to a missionary who worked to ensure that he was finally released in 2004, with the help of the Catholic Church.
Nwadi called for justice from the panel, adding that he still bears the physical and mental scars from that experience.
After questioning by the police attorney, his case was postponed until December 11, 2020.