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Help me find my son who was arrested by SARS operatives Ikeja since 2013, even after being extorted of N2.2 million naira – Mother begs Lagos panel

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The Lagos state judicial panel on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters continued it’s sitting today Friday 22nd January, 2021 by examining 9 petitions.

In the first petition of the day involving Mrs Hannah Olugbodi vs federal special anti robbery Squad (FSARS), both counsels, the petitioner and respondent adopted their written addressees, same with Mr. Olukayode Enitan (SAN) counsel to Lagos state government who also adopted his address.

The panel then reserved it’s decision on a date to be communicated to counsels through a hearing notice.

In the second petition of the day of the family of Kolade Johnson vs federal special anti robbery squad (FSARS), the petitioner called a witness to testify in chief. In his testimony he narrated how he was with the late Kolade Johnson and others before he was gunned down in cold blood at Onipetesi area on Lagos Abeokuta expressway on the 31st of March, 2019.

He also told the panel about how as a witness, he was invited to the police orderly room trial of the killer police man at the Lagos state police command headquarters and who was dismissed from service for the incident and charged for murder by the police authorities of which he is on remand at a correctional facility. He claimed to be unaware of any monetary compensation to the Kolade Johnson family by the police authorities. The witness was cross examined by the police counsel and he maintained his story.

The petitioner counsel also sought to call another witness and the panel adjourned the matter to 13th February, 2021.

In the third case of the day involving Phillip Enwerem vs federal special anti robbery squad (FSARS), the police counsel objected to the commencement of proceedings on the grounds that the issues raised in the petition was already pending before a court of law and he promised to produce copy of the court proceedings to substantiate his submission which was opposed by the petitioner counsel.

In view of the logjam and the need to be fully updated with the court proceedings and other documents on the matter, the panel declined to commence with the case and adjourned it to 13th of February 2021 for continuation.

In the fourth case of the day involving Salami Adekunle Atoba vs federal special anti robbery squad (FSARS), the petitioner was availed the services of an interpreter because she can only communicate in the Yoruba language. She narrated how her son was arrested in Ibadan by SARS operatives from Lagos on 29th March, 2013 and till date, all efforts to trace his whereabouts after almost 7 years has proved abortive.

She also claimed that in the process of searching for her son Salami Adeniyi Adekunle Atoba, a SARS operative by name Mr. Felix who was the IPO demanded that she pay 4 million naira for the case to be charged to court, of which she was only able to pay N2.2 million naira. She said, she was unable to raise the balance even after selling her properties.

She told the panel that the SARS operatives confiscated a trailer, a Camry and Micra cars and his landed property all in Ibadan, Oyo state. She wants the panel to her recover the extorted amount of N2.2 million naira from Mr. Lucky and she is pleading with the panel to help her locate her son’s whereabout and she is demanding justice.

In the fifth case of the day of Mrs Adegbola Bakare vs federal special anti robbery squad (FSARS). The petitioner narrated in Yoruba language which was interpreted by an interpreter on how her son Abayomi Bakare was arrested by SARS in Somolu Bariga on 5th September, 2014 when he went to buy drugs for sick 6 months old son who developed toothing problems. She said, after the arrest of her son at Bariga, he was transferred to SARS office Ikeja and on going there, she was told that her son was arrested for cultism.

She said that after 3 days of the arrest of her son, she went again to the SARS office, only to be told to go and look for N2 million naira to settle the case. She said she was only able to raise N200, 000 which was rejected and she was told that she wasn’t serious, that she should go away. She said her continued visit to the office disturbed some some policemen who promised to help her investigate the whereabout of her son, only for one of the policemen to tell her that her son had been taken to Abuja, which meant that he has been killed.

When she got home, she narrated the story to family members who told her to get a lawyer to seek justice, of which she went to court and was awarded N2 million naira, but till date, the money has not been recoverable because the police wrote the N2 million naira cheque in the name of the missing or dead son. The petitioner is seeking justice.

The police counsel sought an adjournment which was not opposed and the matter was adjourned to 16th February, 2021.

In the sixth petition of the day of Alhaji Shittu Adio Kazeem Lomosa vs the Nigeria police force, the petitioner was struck out based on a letter of withdrawal from the petitioner which was submitted to the panel.

In the seventh petition of the day involving Mr Stanley Nathan vs the Nigeria police force, the petitioner counsel wrote to the panel seeking another date because he won’t be available and the panel graciously adjourned the matter to 16th February, 2021.

In the eight petition of the day of Mr. Sodiq Yakub vs the Nigeria police force, the petition was adjourned to 16th February, 2021 to give the petitioner another opportunity to appear even though he was contacted about today’s sitting which he didn’t honour. Both the panel counsel and the police counsel concurred on the need to give him another opportunity.

In the ninth petition of the day involving Mr. Julius Adeogun and Mrs. Adeogun vs the Nigeria police force, the petitioner is absent and not represented by a counsel, but the panel counsel informed that the petitioner counsel had written to the panel citing his appearance in another court as the reason for his absence, the application was not opposed as the matter was adjourned to 5th February, 2021 at the petitioner instance.

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