The mother of a 24-year-old victim of the disbanded Special Anti-Roberry Squad (SARS), Mrs Arekemase, has narrated how she became blind after her son, Kabiru Arekemase, was gruesomely killed by the notorious police unit.
Arekemase said her late son, who was multilingual, was killed for not willing to bribe police officers after several threats were made against his life.
Narrating the incident before the ongoing #EndSARS panel in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Friday, she said her son had on several occasions told the policemen that he was not involved in any illegitimate business but that they eventually killed him.
She said, "My son was arrested by SARS and detained for four months over false allegation of armed robbery even though there was no victim of the offence before he was later charged and arraigned at Chief Magistrate Court, Iyaganku on August 8, 2006 and was later acquitted.
"My son was re-arrested by SARS and taken to custody four months after he was acquitted by the court for his failure to meet the SARS monetary demands. While in custody, I used to visit him and take food to him, but one of the SARS officials told me one day that my son had been wasted (killed) by SARS.
"I wept for many years which later led to my total blindness. I even requested for the corpse of my late son but all my pleas fell on the deaf ears of the SARS operatives."
Meanwhile, the Arekemase family has demanded a compensation of N250 million from the Nigerian government, through the Nigeria Police Force over the death of their son.
In a petition with suit no: OYJPPB/083 instituted by the mother of the deceased on behalf of the family against the Nigeria Police, the family demanded compensation for "malicious arrest" and prosecution of their son which led to his extrajudicial killing by SARS operatives as a result of false allegation of armed robbery levelled against him.
The SARS operatives were alleged to have killed Kabiru between October 2007 and February 2008 without charging him to any court, which was described as an act of violation to his constitutional right of life as enshrined in Section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In support of the petition, two witnesses, Mrs Ngozi Arekemase and Mrs A. Falade, adopted their statement on oath and gave evidence before the panel set up by the government to look into police brutality and extrajudicial killing, while the respondent, (Nigeria Police), represented by N. A. Ojah, did not file a defence or response to the petition and did not call any witness to oppose the evidence of the petitioner.