November 27, 2020

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‘How SARS officer killed my Canada-bound brother’

4 min read

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

For over 30 minutes on Wednesday, a woman, Mrs. Doris Ididia, gave chilling details of how an official of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) allegedly killed her brother, Festus Idehen, who was due to travel to Canada.

“My brother suffered a lot. From that Saturday to the day he died, he did not eat anything. He was supposed to be in Canada; he had proceeded with his visa,” Mrs. Ididia said as she presented her petition before the panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to probe allegation of impunity against SARS and other police units.

Ididia said on September 3, 2016, they were together at their residence in Kaduna and she was cooking noodles for the deceased to eat when at about 5 pm he received a call from his wife’s younger sister, one Onyekachi Sunday.

“As he went to the junction with his car to pick his brother-in-law because he relocated from where he was staying before, he saw a Golf car chasing him. He thought it was kidnappers so he accelerated and veered off to another route.

“Yet the occupants of the Golf car were still chasing him. At a stage, my brother came out of his car and started running to avoid being caught.

“Throughout that day, we did not see him again. My mother said we should wait till Sunday to make a report at the police station,” she told the panel.

She added on the following day, his brother’s wife received a call from an unknown number that her brother was in the hospital.

Mrs. Ididia said when they go to the hospital, they saw her brother with bandages and injuries all over his body.

“My brother informed that he was running, Inspector Kingsley started shouting thief, thief and mobilised people to catch and beat him to a pulp. As of that time, Kingsley was not there.

“He said Kingsley accused him of stealing the car he (deceased) was using. My brother said he did not steal the car but bought it from Onyekachi, his in-law. Onyekachi also confirmed that he was the one who sold the vehicle to my brother.

“Kingsley was angry when he came and saw us in the hospital. My mother told him that it was someone who called her and told her that they saw her son in the hospital.

“Kingsley then said they wanted to take my brother to Abuja for treatment. My mother and the doctor treating him protested that they could not take him in such bad condition he was but Kingsley insisted on taking my brother to Abuja.”

She further told the panel that her brother was not well treated while being taken to Abuja because he was dumped, face-up in the police vehicle with no clothes, adding that it rained that day and the deceased was seriously drenched.

Mrs. Ididia claimed that the SARS operatives did not take her brother to any hospital when they brought him to Abuja.

READ ALSO: Protest as SARS officer kills Remo Stars captain

She said despite several calls her mother placed on the number Kingsley gave her, he refused to pick the calls only to call on September 6, 2016, the day Felix died, asking that they should come to Abuja.

“When I came to Abuja, he had already died by then. I didn’t see my brother. It was the nurse taking care of him at the cell who informed me that my brother really suffered a lot in the cell, that he didn’t eat anything, and was not taken to any hospitals for treatment.

“The nurse then pointed to a vehicle in which her brother was, adding that when Kingsley saw her, he asked that she should join the vehicle.

“Kingsley asked me to enter the vehicle that my brother was being taken to the hospital. I called my brother by his name but he did not answer me.

“We took him to the police clinic but they refused to accept him, saying he died but Kingsley insisted that he was alive and said we were going to Asokoro General Hospital.

“When we got to Asokoro, they could not take my brother out of the vehicle. The doctor came to see him in the vehicle and said he was brought in died. He pointed to the mortuary and said we should go and deposit the corpse there,” she said and wept.

She further told the panel after her brother’s death, the family asked Kingsley to release the corpse for them to bury, but he refused.

“He refused to release the corpse to us, saying that if he releases the corpse, we would go and make a case.

On what she wants the panel to do, Idedia said her family wants compensation of N200million.

Police’s lawyer, Godwin Ijioma, said he needed to get in touch with Inspector Kingsley (the first respondent) with a view to knowing the true situation of things.

Ijioma then sought an adjournment, following which panel’s chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd) adjourned the case till December 15 for cross the examination of the petitioner.