…AS IIP-SARS ORDERS RETURN OF HIS SEIZED PROPERTIES BEFORE APRIL 27
The IIP-SARS on Monday ordered the Nigerian Police to return seized properties of a petitioner, Mr. John Temitope Alake before 27th of April, 2021 being the next adjourned date.
The petitioner had informed the panel that his three vehicles including three tankers and a Mercedes Benz were seized by the police while he was being investigated over alleged financial impropriety.
The petitioner told the panel that he was charged to a Magistrate court over the alleged offence and that the matter was withdrawn by the police and consequently struck out.
Before the above order was made, John had pleaded with the panel to assist him with the enforcement of an order of an Abuja Federal High Court which had directed the Nigerian Police to pay him compensation to the tune of N15million for alleged extortion, torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment.
The matter lasted for three years in court and in October 2020 a judgment was delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja which awarded 15 Million naira to me as judgment debt was not obeyed till date, the complainant stated.
Led in his testimonies before the panel by his counsel, S.A. Akanni, John informed that panel that he was arrested by officers of the defunct SARS a few years ago alleged financial impropriety and that he was in the process detained for over three months.
The petitioner who identified himself as an indigene of Ilesha local government of Osun state stated before the panel that police confiscated his vehicles including three tankers and a Mercedes Benz and that the latter is being used by the police currently.
The petitioner told the 11-Member panel that he was dissatisfied with the earlier investigation carried out by the police into the matter which according to him informed his decision to write a letter to then DIG, Solomon Arase to intervene.
The complainant informed the panel which was presided by Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN) on behalf of the Chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd) that the said DIG discharged his duties professionally and even directed that officers who allegedly asked for money before his seized properties will be released, be disciplined in accordance with the law.
Counsel to the petitioner, S.A. Akanni Esq. informed the panel that the 6th respondent, DSP Chairman Friday Binfa (rtd) had extorted the sum of N320,000 from the petitioner pointing out that his client could only find the teller showing the payment of N170,000 to the DSP.
He also stated his readiness to avail the police counsel with the phone number of the 6th respondent who is needed before the panel and he was directed by the panel to do so.
Akanni tendered five documents before the panel including a letter of petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), 1st bank teller indicating payment of N170,000 to the 6th respondent, DSP Chairman Friday Binfa (rtd) and online copy of punch newspaper report of the arraignment of the petitioner in court.
Others are a Certified True Copy (CTC) of order of withdrawal of a charge against the petitioner at Ebute Meta Magistrate Court in Lagos and CTC of charge D/25/2014 which was filed against the petitioner by the police.
Under cross examination, Counsel to the police, James Idachaba asked why the 6th respondent was not made a party in the suit that led to the judgment debt against the police. He noted that it will be difficult for him to invite the 6th respondent to the panel since he has since been retired from the service.
He however said that apart from the issue of the 6th respondent, there is nothing to defend in the matter since it is about a judgment of court, which he conceded is extant.
The matter was adjourned to 27TH April, 2021 for continuation.