Testifying at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate cases of extrajudicial killings and police brutality in Anambra state, one Emmanuel Iloanya who was a victim of the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, atrocities made a heartbreaking revelation.
Iloanya revealed that he raised over N27 million from the sale of three landed properties including where he buried his second daughter to secure the release of his 20-year-old son, Chijioke.
According to him, his son, Chijioke was arrested on November 29, 2012. unknown to him, his son was dead but Police officers, human right activists and other intermediaries fleeced him of his money with a promise to assist him to secure freedom for his son.
My son was arrested at a naming ceremony by policemen from Ajali Division who refused to allow his wife to bail him but later transferred him to SARS facility in Awkuzu the next day.
I got the shock of his life and when James Nwafor, the Commanders of SARS Awkuzu then told me and my wife that o son had been ‘wasted and nothing will happen’.
The death of my son was painful but it would have been comforting if i saw the corpse of my son and buried him himself, even as he insisted that his son was not dead yet.
At Awkuzu, they denied to have arrested him but on our second visit I saw my son at the SARS gate in chains and handcufFED
When my wife asked him what he did not say anything but just gesticulated that nothing.
“Suddenly, James Nwafor, the Commander of SARS rushed out of his office and started harassing us, pushing my wife. I went to Bala Nassarawa, the commissioner of police who assured me that my son will not die.
The CP summoned Nwafor but he did not answer him, so he said I should wait after Christmas. To my surprise, the CP told me my son died during a gun duel with the police. I said no, that I was here and he (CP) assured me nothing will happen to him.
When I saw Nwafor he said ‘ I am sorry to tell you that your son has been wasted, you cannot do anything get out from this office” and my wife collapsed.
I sold properties, three properties for N12 million, N8 million and N7 million. All these I spent in the bid to secure the release of my son but they were telling me lies when they knew my son was dead.”
A graveyard where i buried my late daughter two years before the incident was among the properties i sold to secure the release of my son.
I sold it because of this matter, I sold the land where I buried my second daughter
have spent what this panel can give me, I want justice, let the government bring these policemen here to tell me what my son did.
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