A businessman, Afeez Mojeed, has narrated to the Lagos State Judicial panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS related abuses and other matters, how some officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) tortured him to gain access to his bank accounts.
Mojeed also disclosed that the SARS operatives stormed his house at No 2, Prince Obi, Victory Estate, Ajah around 9pm and made away with his valuables after beating him, his pregnant wife and his mother-in-law.
“They chained my legs on the floor and handcuffed my both hands behind. In the process of doing that, one of the men pulled my wedding ring from my finger and collected Tissot wristwatch from my table. They also collected my wife’s wedding rings with several slaps.
“They went to my room, approached my cupboard, they picked the sum of N280, 000 and ransacked all aspects of my house,” he told the panel.
Mojeed said the armed men, whose identities were unknown at the time, collected several documents from him.
These included his Zenith current account chequebook, Atm card, Diamond corporate account chequebook, four documents of landed properties, two shop documents, ID card, car documents and car key to Honda accord 2008.
He added that the men searched his car, took the sum of N50, 000 from the car and drove him to Inspectors put him inside their car, Sienna and drove off.
“They took me to Ikeja command, we got there around 11 p.m. The allegation as at then was that my car was a stolen vehicle,” he narrated.
He told the panel that he was tortured by the SARS officers till around 2 a.m. and was thereafter put in a cell.
He said the SARS officers flogged him with cutlass to have access to his Zenith, Eco and Diamond bank accounts.
Mojeed who disclosed this while being led- in-evidence by his counsel, Mr Kabir Akingbolu stated that he was tortured to gain access to his bank account.
“I was taken to a cell. They came to the cell the next day to collect passwords to the four phones they seized from me. They collected my wife’s phone but later returned it to her, he said.
He continued that the SARS operatives also requested for his ATM pin; “I gave them the wrong pin. They went and did not succeed. On their return, they presented a man – Edward Obina to me.”
“They told me I defrauded him of N97m…I asked Mr Obina how I defrauded him and he said he paid the money into my company’s account. I asked him to allow me get my bank statement.. He later changed his statement that he rather paid the money to my cousin, Yussuf Olatunji Balogun.
He claimed that Mr Olatunji said he paid the money to me and that the money was with me, Mojeed told the panel.
The said Obinna admitted he had never seen me and did not have any business dealings with me, he added.
Mojeed said he sought medical treatment due to deteriorating state of his health after the alleged torture.
At the commencement of the proceedings, the Police counsel, Nosa Watson told the panel that the petitioner’s counsel, Akingbolu had granted an interview with the media, preempting the panel, which is subjudice, and Counsel to Obinna, Mr. Debo Adeleke also corroborated.
Though Akingbolu argued that the panel was a public institution, chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi ruled that the complaint made by Watson and Adeleke was correct adding that having regretted his action and taken undertaking not to repeat such, the panel would overlooked it.
She adjourned further hearing till January 19, 2021 for continuation of witness evidence.