A petitioner, Ipalibo Manuel, on Tuesday alleged before the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry into perceived police brutality that men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) killed his nephew, Godstine Adokiye, following failure to provide a N100,000 bail bribe.
The commission, sitting in Port Harcourt, also heard a related complaint by Alabina Romeo, 89, whose son, Silas Remeo, SARS has not been able to explain his sudden disappearance for the alleged failure of the father to provide N50,000 bail money demanded while in their custody.
In his testimony before the Justice Chukwuemeka Uriri led commission, Manuel, a retiree, narrated that, “My nephew went to play ball at Borokiri Sand Field. On his way back with friends, he was arrested and taken to the SARS office in 2016.
“When I got there with the N30,000 I managed to raise, told them I am a retiree and unable to raise the N100,000 as they demanded. They refused, threatening that my nephew wasn’t there. I had to go back to Abonnema, threatened not to come back again.”
He alleged his nephew died in the custody of disbanded SARS after as he failed to raise the N100,000 the operatives demanded his release, urging the commission to help secure release of nephews remains so for proper family burial.
For octogenarian, Romeo, who hails from Akuku-Toru local government area, “My son, born 1965,:was arrested September 2016 by SARS at about 10:00 pm when he returned from work along Aggrey Road and was taken to SARS office in Borikiri.
“They called me on phone to see my son. I travelled from Abonnema where I sell firewood to Port Harcourt. I got there, they said I should bring N50,000 for my son’s bail.
“I went back to Abonnema, ran around, and was able to raise N20,000. I went back and they rejected the money, insisting it must be N50,000. I told them that was all I was able to raise as a firewood seller.
“That was then they told me my son was not with them. I have not seen him since then. I want the Panel to help me tell Nigeria Police to release my son alive or his corpse so I can bury him well. I believe wherever he is now, his soul is not at rest.”