By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
A victim of police torture, unlawful arrest and detention amongst other violations, Mr. Timothy Ogbeye has fainted while giving his testimony before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) independent investigative panel on Human Rights violation by the defunct SARS and other units of the police sitting in Abuja.
Mr. Timothy Ogbeye in his testimony before the panel said on the 22of January 2020 he was about to go to Julius Berger to purchase granite stone with the sum of 1.5 million in his possession , when he received a call from his associate Sikiru Bashiru informing him that someone is at is car stand situated at Mpape in Abuja.
However the complainant said he got there in company of his boy called yinka and met two gentlemen pricing a car, and one of them asked if he was Timothy and he answered in the affirmative.
Continuing Timothy said one of the men brought out a gun and threatened to shoot him should he move an inch, thereafter he and two others namely Sikiru Bashiru and Yinka were handcuffed, he stated.
Meanwhile, the complainant told the panel that eight police men surrounded the car stand and alleged that he is an armed robber and that the cars were stolen car and they took the snap shot of him with the cars.
Besides, he informed the police of the sum of 1.5 million in his car which was to be used for the purchase of granite was missing and that after beating him they carted away 4 of his vehicle including Lexus, venza and 2 Toyota corollas in one of the corollas was the 1.5 million he said.
Timothy said he was thereafter taken to kwali alongside with two of his brothers where he met a man called Obinna Michael and he was asked if he knows him and he responded that he knew him. He said he was later detained with two of his brothers at the Kwali police station in Abuja.
While at the cell the complainant said Obinna informed him that in 2019 the OC SARS in Anambra state collected vehicles from people and shared among family members including his wife and as his wife was driving the owner of the vehicle collected it.
He told Obinna that the vehicle recovered from the OCs wife was found at his premises which prompted his arrest.
Also the police went through Obinna’s phone and saw Timothy’s name believing that are collaborators in the illicit deals on cars. According him all explanations to convince the police that he knew nothing about the allegations involving car deals fell on deaf ears as they decided to trace timothy to Abuja, the complainant stated.
Timothy stated that he was beaten at the cell with iron, planks and was hanged as well to the point that his hands and legs got paralyzed. Obinna and seven others were later killed.
Timothy lamented that he was asked to bark like a dog, call the name of his wife and make love to the floor he did that until blood gushed out. He was also asked to lick the dirty floor of the cell.
He said he was released after 4 months when investigation was carried out and he was found innocent, DIG Celestine okoye also intervened but by then his health has deteriorated because he has been in and out of hospital as a result of the torture, assault inhuman and degrading treatment meted on him. He was still speaking before the panel when he fainted.
Acting chairman of the panel Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN), has asked the complainant if there was any one in the cell to corroborate his story, the panel has since adjourned till March 24, 2021, due to poor health of the complainant.