By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
A complainant before the Independent Investigative Panel on Allegations of Human Rights Violations by defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other Units of the Nigeria Police sitting at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja, has narrated how operatives of the disbanded squad shot him in his left left leg in 2017.
Mr. Kinsley Ezera Kalu told the panel on Thursday that he was on an evening outing with his newly wedded wife on October 18, 2017, when the incident occurred.
Testifying before Dr. GarbaTetengi (SAN), who conducted the proceedings on behalf of the 11-member Panel Chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima, the complainant who was also with his brother in-law Eke Elekwachi, stated that they were having the evening outing at Exclusive Stores when suddenly his brother-in-law, sighted SARS operatives heading toward the Store.
According to him, it was at that point that his brother-in-law advised that they should all leave the premises of the store because the policemen were armed to avoid any harm.
The complainant alleged before the panel that one of the SARS operatives, Daniel Akpabio later cocked his rifle as they were already exiting the premises of the supermarket and that in the process, a bullet hit him on his left leg and a major vein was affected.
Following this development, he stated, he was rushed to Cedar Crest Hospital where he was informed that a major vein was affected and that he needed to amputate the leg. He said he was later referred to National Hospital Abuja for surgery.
Continuing, he explained that it was at the National Hospital Abuja that an orthopaedic surgeon confirmed that the leg needed to be amputated above knee level.
Besides, he informed the Panel that the DPO of Maitama Police Station at that time assisted him with the sum N150,000 to augment the cost of his treatment in the hospital.
Earlier, counsel to the complainant, Edwin Muoguzo adopted some exhibits and documents before the panel which include copy of the petition, documents from hospital where the complainant was treated, letter of the complaint to the Inspector General of Police about his case and photograph of the complainant’s injured leg among others.
The matter was adjourned till February 22, February, 2021 for counsel to the complainant, to avail the respondents (Police) with the aforesaid documents/exhibits for the purpose of cross examination.
The complainant who said he was barely two months in marriage when the incident happened told the Panel that the incident has affected his family because of the physical challenge he is now living with.