SARS Update

October 17, 2020

#EndSARS: Chijioke’s dad swam in river of dead bodies to identify his son ― Lady narrates ordeal

Chijioke's dad swam in river of dead bodies to identify his son ― Lady narrates

Chijoke iloanya

Chijioke iloanya

Victor Ogunyinka

Just when you thought you have heard the worst of tales on endless brutality of the members of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, a lady narrated how Chijioke Iloanya’s father swam in a river of dead bodies to identify his son.

At the candle night demonstration for fallen heroes of the #EndSARS protest in Abuja, a lady recounted how he (Chijioke) was arrested by what has been described the most dreaded unit in Nigeria, Awkuzu SARS.

She said: “Chijioke was 20 years old in 2012, he went for child dedication and was picked up there and was allegedly taken to SARS office.

“When his family went to look for him, they were told he has been taken to the headquarters. When they got there, His mother spotted him being taken to the station and she said that is my child.

“The officer in charge of that station asked them to boot her and the family out of the premises. Since then they haven’t seen Chijioke.

ALSO READ: #EndSARS: We could have moved faster, we’re sorry ― Osinbajo

“The next time they went, the officer boasted that he shot Chijioke and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Some other officers told the parents that it is possible ha hadn’t died that the man (officer in charge) could just be bluffing and that they should bring some money to bring him.

“The father brought some money and the officer said the money was too small. The father went, sold his land, sold some properties, raised N3 million, gave it to the man and the man said N3 million was ‘chicken change’.

“The most horrifying part of this story, that man in charge, made Chijioke’s dad look for Chijioke’s body in the river of dead bodies; he made him turned every single corpse upside down searching for his son.

I cannot imagine what that man was going through. One part of him would think let me find this body so that we can have closure. Another part of him would think let me not find this body so that we can have hope.

ALSO READ: Awkuzu SARS: Nigeria’s most dreaded specialised police unit

“This is the impunity of which officers have treated us. They came to Abuja to seek justice. The State CID told them they will have to pay money to transport others down to the state where it happened. We have no system. We cannot get tired…,” she narrated.

Nigerian youths have been protesting in different parts of the federation the unjust killing, police brutality, inhumane treatment and the impunity of members of SARS that have made them called for the disbandment of the unit with #EndSARS protest.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has since disbanded the team.