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Published On: Fri, Nov 6th, 2020

How SARS ruined my marriage, man tells judicial panel of inquiry

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By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

A victim of human rights abuse, Mr. Sunday Akpan on Thursday told the Edo State Judicial Panel of inquiry how men of the Special Anti-robbery squad unit of the Nigeria police Force (SARS), ruined his marriage, alleging undue interference by a police officer.
The panel was set up on October 23rd 2020 by the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to investigate complaints of brutality by security agents, human rights violations, extra-judicial killings and other related matters.
Mr. Akpan who spoke through his counsel, Festus Obijeko, shortly after addressing the panel, told journalists in Benin City, that he was smacked repeatedly on his ear by a police officer for allegedly selling his wife’s refrigerator and shop to pay debt.
He explained that his client’s condition has made it difficult to fend for his family.
“He was told that the officer died in the line of duty and that the command will get back to him, that was sometime February this year. Since that time till this moment, they have not gotten back to him.
“In a Civil domestic matter has broken the marriage and as I am talking with you now, himself and his wife are not together again, the children are not in school, the children are not well fed, that psychological coverage that family should offer to his children has been missing”, he said.
In her remark, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (Rtd), assured the victims of police brutality that the panel would be balanced and thorough in their job and would not rely on the account of one party to make their judgement but would also invite the police to give their own side of the story.
She said the panel is not to indict anyone but could only make recommendations to the government on how the victims of police brutality could be compensated at the end.

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