Nigerian entertainer Victor Ekpekpe spoke about his father’s horrific experience in the hands of the police.
Master of Ceremonies Mr. Victor Ekpekpe tells MATTHEW OCHEY how the team of the Inspector General of the Police Surveillance Unit beat his father, Chief FI Ekpekpe, until he passed out in Objaruku, Delta State. , in June 2020.
What do you do for a living?
I am a professional master of ceremonies and entertainers. I graduated from the University of Benin in Edo State. I finished my studies in 2015. When I could not find a permanent job, I ventured into the world of entertainment. This is what I do to feed my family.
Have you suffered from police brutality?
Yes, on June 20, 2020, my father was mistreated by some evil police officers from the Inspector General of Police Oversight. It was awful. Inspector Christopher led the PGI monitoring team at my father’s house.
How did this happen?
I was not there when they arrived. They met my father, who is the leader of the Obiaruku Kingdom. They asked about the owner of the house. They asked if the owner was a member of the Nigerian Union of Oil and Natural Gas Workers, and my father said that the building belongs to him. They said they found out that his son was an internet scammer because he bought a Mercedes Benz car and my father laughed, thinking it was a joke. So they told my father that they had come to search the house.
My dad was surprised, so he told them that they couldn’t come at 2 am to search my house.
He told them that the police were not allowed to search someone’s house around 2 am without a search warrant. They were not even in uniform and did not show ID. They asked my father if he would like to teach them how to work and said that if his son did not give them N2m, the house would be demolished. And mom has a sore leg. When she managed to get out, she was pushed and fell. Then they started beating my father just because he asked me to show a search warrant.
They used a shotgun to break his mouth and the whole ground was covered in blood. Three police officers from outside opened fire indiscriminately and eventually searched everywhere, but found nothing incriminating. But they put my father in the trunk of their car and drove off for a while. They thought my father was dead, so they left him by the side of the road. They don’t remember coming to our home at Obiaruku’s headquarters. So we managed to get the name.
My father came home with injuries all over his body and we took him to the hospital for treatment. Three days later, he fell while walking down the street. He was rushed to the Delta Government Hospital, Obiaruka, where internal bleeding was found.
Are you satisfied with the recent disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad?
I don’t think they should have eradicated SARS, but I believe they should end the brutality, extortion and corruption in the system because we still need the police. Among them, bad eggs need to be caught.
What did you do after?
We wrote a petition and even filed a lawsuit. We have referred the case to the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State, but nothing has been done yet. They lie to protect their actions, but people can tell when they are lying. But who should we cry to? We have no one to run to to get justice. We live in a country where people are treated like dogs. We went to court to get justice, but we couldn’t get justice. We demand justice. I cry because if this could happen to my father in our country, what can we expect outside of this country?
Have you had any other meetings with the police?
I have had so many meetings with the police. Only two out of 100 police officers are actually working to protect citizens. SARS operations, especially their office in Avkuzu in Anambra State, are very poor. They have to tell me why they came to my father’s house. Are the cops more Nigerians than us?
How would you describe the #EndSARS protests?
This is the government’s fault. They lingered and were in no hurry to respond to the protesters. People are already angry with the government, so it only gave them the opportunity to express their accumulated anger.