The sitting of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the state government to look into the allegations of brutality and highhandedness by personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has entered day three.
At the resumed sitting on Saturday in Lekki, the panel headed by a retired Chief Justice of Lagos State, Justice Doris Okuwobi, would hear four petitions.
The petitions included Okwuchukwu Obiechina Vs the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Olusegun Openiyi Vs the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Francis Idum Vs the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Olajide Fowotade Vs the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
In the case involving the first petitioner, Mr and Mrs Obiechina, Justice Okuwobi admitted as exhibits the judgements delivered in 2017 and 2020 respectively.
“Judgement in appeal CA/L/178 of 2018 COP and others against Mr Obiechina and another dated March 20, 2020, is hereby admitted and marked as Exhibit B,” she said.
When asked for any other matter to be used as an exhibit, the petitioner’s wife, Ndubuisi, narrated how police authorities extorted she and her husband.
In her testimony, Mrs Obiechina lamented that she was arrested from her school where she spent 22 days in SARS Custody in Ikeja.
While noting that the SARS operatives also arrested her husband who came to check up on her, the victim said they were put in different cells.
In the process, Mrs Obiechina said she lost her three months of pregnancy, adding that her five-month-old child was left with no care.
She also revealed how SARS operatives unlawfully took N50,000 in their possession and alleged that they both paid N150 and N250,000 cash for their bail.
The victim explained that although the court awarded her N2million as damages against the police authorities, she is yet to receive the sum.
On Friday, members of the Judicial Panel visited the Military hospital in Falomo, the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.
They were initially denied access but later allowed into the premises after about 30 minutes. The panel also visited a detached building at the back of the hospital.
According to military authorities, the hospital and morgue have been under renovation since October 2019 and have not been in use.
The visit was shortly after the panel went for an inspection at the Lekki Toll Gate, to make more findings concerning last week’s shooting incident.