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Indicted for murder, torture: Names of SARS, Police officers evading justice since 2018

A serving judge was not spared in the abuse of power by police officers, with his car confiscated and auctioned by SARS personnel. Both retired and serving police officers of different ranks were indicted following nationwide public inquiries of a Presidential Panel constituted by the National Human Rights Commission in 2018 at the request of the Federal Government.

From murder to ‘forced disappearances’, torture, degrading treatments of persons, and mostly illegal detentions, some police officers in the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) were recommended for different punishments ranging from dismissal, prosecution for crimes allegedly committed to a reduction in rank and paying of compensations. BusinessDay computation showed a total of N283,355,730 in compensations for 58 beneficiaries including relatives of people found to have been murdered by police officers.

President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2019 after receiving the report of that panel had said recommendations of the Commission that constituted the Panel are enforceable as decisions of the Court. He had also directed the Inspector General of Police, Solicitor General of the Federation/Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice to meet with the Commission to work out modalities for the implementation of the report within 3 months of his pronouncement.

However, over two years since these investigations were carried out there is no evidence to show anything has been achieved in getting justice for those who filed complaints.

A text message sent to Frank Mba, the public relations officer of the Nigeria Police since Tuesday last week, for clarification if those recommendations were effected was not replied at the time of this publication one week later.

“We will continue to set up panels and committees that will make recommendations that will not be implemented as they would be ignored by those who feel they are above the law,” Auwal Ibrahim Musa, executive director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) told BusinessDay.

BusinessDay got documents showing the names and offences of indicted police officers across 13 states, with Abuja, Imo, and Lagos recording more infractions. Till today, justice it appears has not been served. The states are presented in alphabetical order with details of indicted police officers:

Akwa Ibom State

Corporal Godwin Olade, with force number 505068, and Sergeant Ime Uweh of SARS were recommended for dismissal from the police force for “Inhuman and Degrading Treatment” following a complaint marked NHRC/PSARS/2018/AKS/2. It was also recommended that the Nigeria Police Force paid N5 million compensation to a certain Michael Antai, who from the document appeared to have been the victim of ‘Inhuman and Degrading Treatment’ by the officers. An apology published in a newspaper was also recommended.

ASP Ignatius Odeh and Emmanuel Ebenezer of SARS were recommended for dismissal from the police force for a complaint on ‘Violation of Rights to Fair Hearing and Dignity of Human Person’ marked as NHRC/PSARS/2018/AKS/3. N5 million was also to be paid as compensation to a certain Emmanuel Ita Edem.

All four officers were also recommended for prosecution

There was also a recommendation of N2 million to be paid by NPF to the family of Idoreyin Sunday Isong for; Biased investigation, torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment leading to death in police custody. The complaint marked NHRC/PSARS/2018/AKS/4 was also recommended for further investigation into the death of Mr. Idoreyin Sunday Isong, with a view to sanctioning all erring officers or persons where they are found culpable

Benue

No officers were recommended for dismissal or prosecution but the compensation of N20 million was recommended to be paid to legal heirs and families of Agande and Olowe Adi, for ‘Extrajudicial killings (right to life)’.

Another N10 million was to be paid to the Wife and children of late Emmanuel Tertsea Dia also for ‘Extrajudicial killings (right to life)’, all payable by the Nigeria Police.

Further investigations were also requested to reveal the identities of the police officers involved in “the heinous killing Agande Adi and Olowe Adi”. Another investigation was ordered to identify officers culpable for the death of the deceased and the roles played by senior Police Officers tasked with the duty of investigating the death of Emmanuel Dia.

Delta

A certain ASP Muyiwa was recommended for dismissal and prosecution, following “unlawful arrest, detention and extrajudicial killing” of Romeo Council and Joel Kakadu. The police force was also to pay N10 million as compensation to the families of the deceased.

Enugu

Sgt. Paul Everest was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “alleged torture leading to death in custody”, of Chibuike Edu in a complaint marked NHRC/PSARS/2018/EN/1.

SP. G.S.K Eriaka was recommended for reduction in rank in the case of Chibuike Edu’s death, while Insp. Samuel Adakole was also recommended for a reduction in rank for alleged violation of the right to property and extortion.

Compensation of N10 million was recommended for the torture leading to death in custody of Edu, payable to his family by the Nigeria Police. Another N5 million was to be paid by Intercil Products Ltd.

N3 million was to be paid to Ani Okechukwu by the Nigeria Police and N100,000 by Insp. Samuel Adakole. An investigation was also ordered to recover the tipper of Ani Okechukwu.

FCT, Abuja

Insp. Augustine Nwobodo – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “extra-judicial killing and refusal to release corpse”.

Sgt. Nuhu Shuaibu – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “extra-judicial killing and refusal to release corpse”.

Cpl. Mohammed Tetengi – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “extra-judicial killing and refusal to release corpse”.

ACP Fatai Akinyomi – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “right to property”

DSP Abdullah Abubakar Hassan – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “right to property”.

D. Terhemen – recommended for dismissal over “Unlawful arrest, detention, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, extrajudicial killing.”

Inspector Dennis Matthew – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Unlawful arrest, detention, and death in police custody.”

ASP Felix Onuoha – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Unlawful arrest, detention, and death in police custody.”

ASP Emmanuel Onyeneho – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Unlawful intimidation, harassment, arrest, detention, criminal assault, inhuman and degrading treatment, and torture.”

Sgt. Umar Suleiman – recommended for dismissal for “Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

ASP Pius Onoja – recommended for dismissal for “Alleged threat to life, extortion, and confiscation of property”

Inspector Isa Obaka – recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Unlawful arrest, detention, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Reduction in rank

Inspector Austin Aluma for “Unlawful arrest, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and seizure of property”.

Adeshina Ogundepo for “Unlawful arrest, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and seizure of property”.

ASP Sunday O. Ibrahim for “Unlawful arrest and detention and enforced disappearance”.

Inspector Julius Idowu for “Unlawful arrest, detention and confiscation of properties”, and the same officer in another complaint about “extortion, unlawful arrest, and detention”.

Compensations of various sums totaling N58.68million were also recommended to 17 beneficiaries. This also included an order for the recovery of a car belonging to chief magistrate Faga Ajim, which was confiscated and reportedly auctioned by Agyole Abeh who retired as a deputy commissioner of police.

Amongst several investigations requested, the Inspector General of Police was directed to conduct an immediate investigation to unravel the identity of a certain Sgt. Umar Suleiman.

Obedience of court order was ordered in two cases; one for enforcement of fundamental human rights and damages in Suit FHC/ABJ/CS/870/2014 and the other sought “report of disciplinary measures taken by the Police against Inspector Usman should be implemented”.

Gombe

Reduction in rank was recommended for Inspector Sadiq Irimiya Yakubu for “Inhuman and degrading treatment”. Compensations of N1 million were each recommended for two beneficiaries.

Imo

ASP Columbus Aniozor was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Alleged extrajudicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention threats, intimidation, unfounded allegations, unlawful seizure of property and blockage of accounts”.

Insp. Nwachukwu was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Alleged extrajudicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention threats, intimidation, unfounded allegations, unlawful seizure of property and blockage of accounts”.

Insp. Ndidi Nwaneri was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Alleged extrajudicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention threats, intimidation, unfounded allegations, unlawful seizure of property and blockage of accounts”.

Insp. Femi was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Alleged extrajudicial killing, unlawful arrest and detention threats, intimidation, unfounded allegations, unlawful seizure of property and blockage of accounts”.

CSP Godfrey Ogbeide Victor (OC SARS Imo State) was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Alleged unlawful arrest and detention, inhuman and degrading treatment and extrajudicial killing”.

ASP. Banjoko, OC SARS, Akokwa, Imo State was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Alleged unlawful arrest and detention, inhuman and degrading treatment and extrajudicial killing”.

Corporal Echara Alice was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Alleged unlawful arrest and detention, inhuman and degrading treatment and extrajudicial killing”.

Reduction in rank was recommended for ASP Julius Iwuji for “unlawful detention and breach of right to life” and CSP Godfrey Ogbeide Victor (OC SARS Imo State) for “alleged extrajudicial, killing, unlawful arrest and detention threats, intimidation, unfounded allegations, unlawful seizure of property and blockage of accounts”.

Compensations of various sums totaling N12.07 million were recommended for seven beneficiaries.

Investigations were also ordered into alleged police killings of Collins Okoronkwo Ezenwa and Uchenna Ugwueze.

Kaduna

Inspector Yakubu Baba was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Torture, right to life and dignity of the human person”.

Sgt. Columbus Adams was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Torture, right to life and dignity of the human person”.

Compensation of N10 million was recommended for Joy Okon (Wife of late John Okon) by the Nigeria Police.

Kogi

Compensation of N10 million was recommended for the family of late Adamu Haruna for torture and extrajudicial killing by the police.

Investigations were also to be carried out to reveal the identities of the police officers involved in the “heinous killing Adamu Haruna”. Also, an investigation into circumstances leading to the re-arrest of a certain Austine Okai. Lastly, to investigate the circumstances surrounding a case of alleged extortion and violation of rights.

Kwara

The investigation was ordered in a complaint marked NHRC/PSARS/2018/KW/1 requesting a coroner’s inquest into the death of the victim.

Lagos

Insp. Akeem Balogun was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Violation of the right to life and alleged extra-judicial killing”.

Insp. Godwin Ogedengbe was recommended for dismissal over “Enforced Disappearance”.

Inspector Ibukun Olusoga was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Enforced Disappearance”.

ASP Omoleme Akhere was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Unlawful arrest and detention, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

Inspector Hyginus Idoko was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and violation of the right to personal liberty, extortion, and violation of the right to property”.

ASP Columbus was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “Unlawful arrest, detention and enforced disappearance”.

Sgt. Efwakwe Dada of FSARS, Ikeja, was recommended for prosecution over “Unlawful Arrest and detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

Insp. Dogo Monday of FSARS, Ikeja, was recommended for prosecution over “Unlawful Arrest and detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

Reduction in rank based on various alleged crimes and conducts was recommended for; DSP Festus Olaniyi; Ogumuyiwa Saburi; CSP Modupe Okpalaeke; Insp. Anthony Marcellinus; Insp. Hillary; Sgt. Efwakwe Dada; Insp. Dogo Monday; and Inspector Friday.

Lagos has the second-highest number of those recommended for compensations (after Abuja) with 15 beneficiaries getting between N500,000 and N10million, which cumulatively is N89.87 million all payable by the Nigeria police except for N500,000 payable to a certain Otuchere John by an Alice Osoba Isah for “unlawful arrest and detention, torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

Several investigations were also ordered in cases ranging from torture, extrajudicial killings to the disappearance of vehicles in police custody. The Police were also directed to requisition a coroner’s inquest and investigation into the deaths of Benjamin Powe, Segun Tuwel, and Ikechukwu Samuel.

Obedience of court order was also demanded in two cases; 1. Enforcement of fundamental human rights and damages in Suit No.HU/79M/2014. 2. Enforcement of fundamental human rights and damages in Suit No.LD/3149MFHR/2016

A retired officer, Inspector Wilson Okanya was also ordered to be arrested and prosecuted for the “extra-judicial killing of Ogadi Enwerem”.

Ogun

Insp. Godwin Ogedengbe was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “unlawful arrest, detention, violation of the right to dignity of the human person and extortion”.

Reduction in rank was recommended for Sgt. Quadri Omolegbe for “unlawful arrest and detention”.

Compensations of various sums totaling N4.025 million were recommended for four beneficiaries.

Rivers

ASP Etubi Danjuma was recommended for dismissal and prosecution for “unlawful arrest and detention and torture and inhuman and degrading human treatment”.

Reduction in rank was recommended for the following:

ACP Akin Fakorede, OC SARS, Rivers State for “destruction of building and properties”.

A certain Mr. Danjuma of FSARS, Rivers State in a complaint marked NHRC/PSARS/2018/RVS/4 for “degrading treatment and extortion”.

Mr. Joseph of FSARS, Rivers State in complaint NHRC/PSARS/2018/RVS/4 for “degrading treatment and extortion”.

Inspectors Bright Omoruyi and Michael Isichei for “destruction of building and properties”

Compensations totaling N16.5million were recommended for three beneficiaries.

Investigations and coroners inquests into some murders allegedly committed by police officers were also ordered, including that of a certain Ajibade Ademisoye and Joy Kale at Rumuakunde Community of Emohua Local Government Area and at Agbo-Nchia Community of Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State respectively, and extrajudicial killing of Bright Ogoloma.

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