Days after the Officer-in-Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Awkuzu, Anambra State, Superintendent of Police Sunday Okpe, and some of his men were picked up by detectives from Force Headquarters, Abuja, mum has been the word from the police hierarchy.
Earlier attempts by The Eagle Online to get a reaction from the Force Public Relations Officer, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Jimoh Moshood, on the matter, have been futile.
Moshood did not pick his calls and also did not reply a text message sent to him.
This has raised a fear of cover up by the police hierarchy.
Such atrocities led to the call for the scrapping of the SARS by Nigerians before Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, then acting in the place of President Muhammadu Buhari, directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to reform the unit.
This has led to the renaming of the outfit as Federal SARS.
Meanwhile, the victim, believed to be a business tycoon, narrated his encounter with the SARS operatives, which he had earlier disclosed through his lawyer, Justus Ijeoma, who is the Executive Director of International Human Rights Defence.
It will be recalled that the victim was tortured for a week and the sum of N6 million extorted from him by the policemen before he was granted bail.
The reason for his arrest till date remains nebulous.
His words: “On the 5th day, they brought me out and told me that my life would end on that day since I refused to cooperate. Four policemen took me in their car (one of the names of the SARS men is Alias). As soon as we were outside the compound, they blindfolded, handcuffed and pushed me inside their car. They drove for about two hours and stopped at a particular spot. They released my blindfold. I saw that I was beside a borrow pit inside a bush. I had no idea where we were, but I suspected we were in Edo State.
“They told me that my life had come to an end as I would be executed shortly. Their leader told them that they should execute me as soon as he gave the signal. I was crying and pleading but they refused. They all pointed their guns at me.
“The last thing I remembered before I passed out was the loud command and the rapid sound of gunshots. When I regained consciousness, I saw that I was inside their vehicle with my face blindfolded. They took me back to the cell but to a different cell.
“The inmates descended on me and started beating me. I was brought out after about an hour. They told me that they will take me back to the ground where I was nearly executed. I was crying and pleading with them. They agreed to reduce the money to N10m. I pleaded that they should allow me to pay N5m but they refused. One of them told me that his salary was N2.5m per month, that N5m was too small.
“Before I was released, the leader of the SARS team told me that I should thank my stars. He said: ‘Your native doctor must be very powerful. If we had picked you the way we planned it, this nonsense would not be happening now. We would have cleared everything you ever acquired in life, all your properties, including your beautiful wife and you would never get out alive.’”