Nzube Obichina: During 22 days of being in custody from ARVI, I lost my pregnancy
Nzube Obekhina, an alleged victim of police brutality in Lagos, told the Lagos Judiciary how she was tortured by agents of the Special Robbery Squad (SARS), which resulted in her losing two months of pregnancy.
“I was two months pregnant, they beat me, I urinated on the cloth, they said they would kill me.
“They took me to the ‘sanctuary’, hanged me there, beat me, hit me, said they would kick me out and I would die there,” he told the group on Saturday.
Ms Obechina said she was placed in an open cell where she was beaten in the rain and burned in the sun for a week, without food or water to drink.
The State Judicial Commission to Investigate and Restitution Victims of SARS Abuse and Other Violations in Lagos heard chilling details on Saturday about how a disbanded police unit allegedly tortured a pregnant teacher and her husband for 22 days before she lost her child.
Ogechukwu Obechina and his wife Ndubuisi told the group that the incident took place in June 2017 after police falsely called her a thief and kidnapper.
Ms. Ndubuisi, speaking on behalf of the couple, said that she was two months pregnant at the time, but during the beatings, the men threatened to “throw the baby out of me.”
She testified that as a result of further torture trauma to which her husband suffered at the hands of SARS agents during his second arrest in October 2017, she lost another pregnancy.
She said people from the Federal Anti-Robbery Special Squad (SARS) also stole 50,000 N from her husband and forced them to shell out 400,000 N as bail before they were released.
He told the group that the couple sued the police in the Federal Court of Lagos in 2017 and won.
Judge Mohammed Idris ordered the police to pay them compensation in the amount of 2 million euros.
They also won in the Lagos Court of Appeal in 2020, but the police refused to enforce the sentence.
Ms. Ndubuisi identified some of her tormentors as “Philip Rilwan, Christian and Harun Idova,” who are all police officers.
The chairman of the jury, Honorary Judge Doris Okuvobi, postponed the meeting until November 10 to give the aforementioned agents an opportunity to appear and answer the charges.
Obehinas’ testimony was the first of four petitions on the third day of the meeting since the Lagos state government formed a nine-member group on October 15, following weeks of near-nationwide #EndSARS protests.
Other signatories: Olusegun Opiyi; Francis Idum (deceased) and Olajide Fovotade. The fourth petition was not accepted.
Ms. Ndubuisi, a private school teacher, said on June 1 that she received a text message from an unknown number that had a package from DHL. The other caller asked for her home or work address, and she gave him the address of the school on her husband’s advice.
The next day, June 2, 2017, his tests began.
He said that the men arrived at his school in a black SUV.
Ms. Ndubuisi said, “I saw a black jeep with huge people inside. One of them was in the form of DHL.
“They immediately approached me and started beating me. They said I should come in. They said I was a thief, an armed robber. The one in the DHL uniform took it off. My HM (director) was looking at us. I said let me go and tell him. They said no. “
The applicant said that she had a five-year-old son at school, but they didn’t care.
“I said that my son was there, they said no, that I should follow them, that my son would die there. My HM went to the gate, they pointed a gun at me. He asked what was going on.
They said: “This woman is a thief, a kidnapper. He must follow us and leave. They said it was the police, SARS. “
They pushed me into the car and moved on. The men beat me, beat me. I was two months pregnant. I started to vomit. Then they found out that I was pregnant. But they continued to torture me. I told them I didn’t know the suspect.
“They took me to their office in Ikeji. They took me to the shrine. They were hanged and beaten. They said they would make me leave the child. They said that I should produce this person or die there, ”said Ms. Obichina.
The witness also testified that her husband had been looking for her in several police stations in Lagos. When he finally found her, he too was arrested and tortured.
He continued: “As soon as they saw him, they started beating him. They put rubber on his head and said they would burn him alive. They began to interrogate him, beat him with the butt of a pistol, beat him on the head with a stone.
“During the beating, I urinated on my clothes; they said that my pregnancy was not from my husband, that I had to bring the man from whom I became pregnant. “
He informed the group that they had been placed in different cells.
“… .. I told them that I have a five-year-old son at school. They said, “Let him die there,” the applicant said, adding that in the end they allowed her and her husband to call people to take care of the child.
“My husband was in cell 1, I was in cell 2. It was an open room. The rain and sun hit us. “
They were eventually released on bail of 250,000 and 150,000 hires, but her husband was arrested again in October of the same year, during which she lost another pregnancy due to further torture and trauma.
He said, “While we were preparing for Sunday church, Philip Rilwan, Haruna and other SARS agents entered our home.
“I called our lawyer and also Christian when they were leaving. “You know when I first lost my child. I am now pregnant and my doctor said that I do not need any stress. Tell me where you are taking my husband.
“Christian said, ‘Oga said she wanted to see him.” I asked who is Oga? And Philip said that the order was from Abba Chiari.
“They beat my husband, pushed him out in boxers. I begged them, they said no. They took him away. “
She said that due to “emotional trauma” she lost her second pregnancy.
The chairman of the jury acknowledged these two decisions as conclusions.
“The 2018 COP and other rulings on the CA / L / 178 appeal against Mr. Obchin and other decisions of March 20, 2020 were adopted and marked as Appendix B,” Judge Okuobi said.
The second signatory, Mr Fovotade, cried before describing how he was allegedly attacked by two plainclothes police officers from the Ketu Police Department in Lagos.
The policeman allegedly accused him of trying to run them down in his car.
He told the group that they removed two of his teeth before dragging him to their station.
Police on bicycles are said to have accused him of trying to run over them when he suddenly applied the brakes to avoid colliding with a tricycle that had turned off the lane.
One of them, named Ayo, is said to have punched the contractor in the mouth, knocking out two of his front teeth.
He testified that he was also completely beaten at the police station, which also alarmed the police officer of the station (DPO) and scolded the police when he found out about it.
Fowotede said weeks later that he was not himself and had spent hundreds of thousands trying to fix his teeth and leg.
“How can someone beat me and nothing happened?” – he said.
When the group asked him what he wanted, Fowotede said “I want fairness,” adding that around N2million or N3miillion would be helpful in compensation.
The jury updated further consideration of all petitions until November 10.
The commission includes President Judge Doris Okuwobi (Rtd); Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN); Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, former Deputy Director General of Police and one of the founders of SARS.
Also speaking are Ms Oluwatoin Odusanya, Director of the State Office for Citizens’ Rights in Lagos, and Ms Patience Udoh, Civil Society Representative Shogun Avosanya (Segalink), Human Rights Activist, Rinu Odwala, Temitop Majekodunmi and Mr Lucas Coyejo …
The jury runs from 10:00 to 16:00 for six months. The appointed meeting days are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at the Lagos Arbitration Court, No. 1A, Remi Oluvode Street, Lekki, Phase 1, Lagos.
Source: – TV channels