By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
An aggrieved father on Tuesday recounted the chilling details of how his son was killed by men of the disbanded Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) in custody at the Awkuzu facility of the security outfit.
Sir Emma Adimachukwu Chimezie, a school proprietor from Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, but based in Asaba regretted that despite killing his son, an officer of the outfit still collected a total of four hundred thousand Naira from him for his feeding after an initial demand of five hundred thousand Naira.
Adimachukwu’s petition and that of Mr. Obiora Akabike whose younger brother, Master Ekene Augustine Akabike was also “wasted” by the anti -robbery squad were both heard on Tuesday at the panel sitting in Awka.
Narrating his story, Adimachukwu said his only son Obinna, a graduate of Business Administration from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka was an international businessman based in Onitsha in 2014 before he met his death in the hands of SARS operatives.
He said, “Obinna had gone to Nnewi with a friend to recover a debt of $10,000.00 which his friend borrowed from him. He had returned to Onitsha and was waiting for his goods to arrive at Ezenwata Park Onitsha when SARS men arrived and started shooting indiscriminately.
“Since they committed no offence, they did not run and were arrested. The story changed when on their way, they searched the two men but Obinna refused to surrender the money to them.
“in the course of taking him to SARS, Awkuzu, a fight ensued when they were searched and found the money with him. He refused to give them the money.
“When they got to Awkuzu they told him that since he can fight, they will send him to where he can fight. So they took him into cell 5 where they detain condemned criminals”.
According to him, he rushed down to Awkuzu SARS ON hearing of his son’s arrest but was told on arrival by a friendly police man that though his son was among those detained, he vould not be allowed to go in, and was asked to return the following day.
He added, “When I returned the next day, the story changed, so I went and hired a lawyer. They told him that my son was not detained at the station.
“When they continued with the game, the lawyer became suspicious and advised me to contact all highly placed people I could.
“I went to the station the next day and gatecrashed since they refused me entry and that earned me detention by the second in command to the commander of SARS.
“The second in command brought out and read a statement purportedly written by my son and when I demanded to verify it, I was not only refused but was detained for a second time by the second in command who was enraged that I had the temerity to ask to see the statement and verify if it was my son’s writing and signature.
“When I finally regained freedom, the second in command demanded for money to feed my son. “Meanwhile, I didn’t know that they had killed him the previous day. The second in command demanded that he needed the money to feed my son. I gave him four hundred thousand Naira because he had demanded five hundred and asked me to come back the next week.”
Continuing, he said that It was when he demanded to see his son because he had the keys to their country home that the commander of SARS, James Nwafor confronted him.
“Nwafor jumped up and said: Is it because I allowed you in that you are making all these requests? Look, let me tell you if you don’t know, your son is dead!”
At this point, I collapsed on the chair. As I fell down, Nwafor ordered for my detention but I asked Nwafor to release the corpse of my son, to which he responded, “do you want to go the way your son went? ” I was thrown out of the SARS station.
“After one year I called Nwafor and said, can I bury my son? He said not yet. On the second year, he called a friend of mine and said I can now bury my son, that he had investigated and found that my son was not an armed robber”.
Adimachukwu said he was happy that a situation like this arose for him to talk about what happened to his son saying that he was intimidated and never knew he could ever get anyone to listen to him about what happened to his son.