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Nigeria Police Force refund N6m extorted by SARS from a trader in Anambra

Ugochukwu Oraefo’s refund followed a petition by the trader’s lawyer, Uche Ijeoma of International Human Rights and Equity Defence Foundation, to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris in July 2018.

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In the petition, Ijeoma had alleged that the SARS (now FSARS) arrested his client and kept him incommunicado for over two weeks.

The lawyer said the policemen threatened to wipe out the victim’s family should he tell anybody about his arrest, detention and torture and the N6m extorted from him.

The petition read in part, “The victim was taken into their torture chamber and hanged for close to an hour.

“The SARS operatives would later claim that the victim was arrested because he paid N50m to an unknown caller in 2013, instead of reporting the case.

“The SARS men claimed that somebody reported the victim to them in connection with the caller, who was a self-confessed criminal.

“They blindfolded him, put him into their vehicle and drove for a period of two hours. At a particular location, which the victim suspected was somewhere around Edo State, they brought out the victim and removed his blindfold. They told him that was the end of his journey.

“They showed him a burrow pit, which they told him was where they would waste his life like they had wasted others in the past.

“As the victim got to the edge of the pit, one of them shouted fire! The guns of his men went off. They fired into the air and the victim fell to the ground and almost passed out.

“The victim, petrified after his experience, went into a negotiation and accepted to pay N5 million. The leader of the squad called the victim into his office and told him that the only condition he would approve the N5m was for the victim to give him N1m separately. The victim agreed.

“When the victim asked for an account number to transfer the money, the SARS men declined. They demanded cash.”

At a press conference on Wednesday in Onitsha, the businessman’s lawyer while thanking the IGP for his intervention on the matter, called for appropriate sanction on the SARS officers who perpetrated the act.

He said despite the overwhelming evidence against the officers, no punishment had been meted out to any of them, adding that the perpetrators were still in their previous postings as if nothing had happened.

He said, “We call on the police authorities to expedite action on the investigation with a view to bringing it to a logical conclusion without further delay.

“The outcome of the investigation and actions taken against those found culpable must be made public as it will serve as a deterrent to others who may still want to journey on this perilous path of dishonour.”

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