A retired military personal, Mr. Labaran Mohammed has asked the Independent Investigative Panel on alleged Human Rights Violations by the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, to help him to recover the three point four million naira allegedly extorted from him by the Nigeria Police Force.
Mr. Mohammed told the panel in Abuja that he was unlawfully arrested and detained by the force in Awe, Lafia, Nasarawa state when he went to seek medical care in the state last year.
He said two million naira out of the money was allegedly collected by a police tointermediary to secure his release.
Mr. Labaran Mohammed, Chairman Network for Army Reform in 2015, told the panel that on the 8th of March last year, he checked into a hotel in Lafia, Nasarawa state to get treatment for gun injury he sustained while on military operation.
Mr. Mohammed, who was still in service at the time of the incident, said when he came back from lunch; the hotel management told him that his luggage had been moved to the store because an Assistant Commissioner of Police was now occupying his room.
According to him, he didn’t want to make trouble and decided to sleep at the reception. He exchanged pleasantries with one of the police escorts in the hotel in the middle of night when he came out to ease himself.
He said when he woke up in the morning to preceed to the hospital, he was accused of being a suspect and was taken to the Divisional Police office in Lafia. Mr. Mohammed said inspite of the DPO’s investigation which showed that he was not a criminal, the Assistant Commissioner of police, SARS operation Lafia insisted he had a case to answer.
He further told the panel that his colleagues’ intervention, notwithstanding, the police officer charged him with murder of the wife of a Presidential Candidate, the late Kudirat Abiola and attempting to murder the dethroned emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi.
Mr. Mohammed said his colleague; Major Sani Sada secured his release after giving Two Million naira to a police intermediary, Ararama Mallam Lafia to secure his release when he realized that he might be killed in the force detention center.
He said his Automated Teller Machine Card and phones were confiscated by the police while he was in detention and that he later got his bank statement and realized that One point four million naira was withdrawn from his account.
He prayed the panel to help him to recover the extorted monies and his military uniform confiscated by the police.
The case was adjourned until the 7th of April since counsel to the police, Mr. James Idachaba said the allegations were too weighty and he would have to study the petition and investigate the matter.
Another case that was heard by the panel was that of alleged harassment, unlawful arrest, confiscation of property and disobedience to court order brought to it by one Mr. Sunny Esiso, on behalf his family.
Mr. Esiso informed the panel that their late father willed his property in Warri, Delta State to their mother and all the children except their elder brother, Yoma Esiso for allegedly being a thorn in the flesh of their father while he was alive.
He alleged that Yoma connived with the police to seal the property despite court ruling on the matter that the force should keep away from the case as it was a family affair.
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima adjourned the matter until the 7th of April for continuation of hearing.