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Headline Lagos National News Nigeria

Family of policeman allegedly killed by SARS seeks justice

The family of a police sergeant, Maxwell Dul is seeking justice over the alleged extra-judicial killing of their son by the Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Uncle to the deceased, Mr Ndam Tokpe made the plea in Abuja at the Independent Investigative Panel on alleged human rights abuses by the defunct SARS and other units of the Nigeria Police Force.

Mr Tokpe told the panel that on February 20, 2019, he received a call from the station officer of Railway Police Station Area Command, Lagos, Maxwell’s station, that he was arrested the previous day.

On getting to the police station, he gathered that his nephew who just closed from night duty at his place of posting; reported back to the station where he submitted his riffle, changed to plain clothes, and left.

The Uncle added that on Maxwell’s way back home while crossing the BRT lane, a commercial motorcycle rider (Okada) hit him and he made haste to arrest him. The Okada rider begged him and offered him N1,000 which he rejected and insisted on arresting him.

He said the Okada rider knowing full well that he had committed an offence, decided to raise a false alarm that Maxwell was about snatching his motorcycle and this attracted an Okada mob who almost lynched him until he identified himself as a police officer.

Mr Tokpe further said the chairman of the Okada association instructed that Maxwell be taken to the nearest police station, Denton Police station, Yaba to authenticate his true identity.

He explained that when Maxwell’s station officer got the news, he rushed to Danton Police station where he identified him as an officer but his colleagues demanded N10,000 for his release and this infuriated the officer.

Mr Tokpe told the panel that the deceased was later accused at the Danton Police station of being an armed robber and not a policeman and was transferred to SARS office, Lagos.

He said the station officer also went to the SARS office and was asked to bring N100,000 which further angered him, Maxwell.

On getting to SARS office after raising the money through the woman at Maxwell’s post who also identified him as a good police officer, he was told that Maxwell was dead and was taken to the mortuary, adding that there were bruises on his body which led to the suspicion of torture and murder.

Counsel to the complainant, D.G Dashe presented to the panel the identity card and pictures of the deceased on police uniform as well as other documents indicating that he was a police officer before his murder.

Meanwhile, the Acting Chairman of the panel, Mr Garba Tetengi has directed counsel to the complainant to provide it with the names of all policemen indicted in the matter.

Reporting by Bose Ijelekhai; editing by Muzha Kucha