By Ozioruva Aliu
Emotions flowed Monday at the Edo State Judicial Panel of Enquiry as a widow, Mrs. Patience Imaikop narrated how men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in 2013 killed her husband and three labourers he hired to help work in his farm in Uteh village, Ikpoba-Okha local government area of Edo state and branded him the leader of a robbery gang.
She said the late husband had an altercation with men of the now-defunct SARS a few days before the killing.
She said the dead were hurriedly buried and branded a robbery gang while she alleged that she was tortured and detained for four days accusing her of being the wife of the leader of a notorious robber gang.
She said it was a high court order after pressure from the family that mandated that the bodies be exhumed for autopsy which she said revealed that they were shot by SARS unarmed.
She said she is demanding N50 million as compensation to assuage the pains the family had been going through.
She said “The police loaded the dead bodies of my husband and his three labourers into their van while an officer drove my husband’s vehicle along with them to the station.
“When I got the news of my husband’s death, I hurriedly rushed to the scene of the incident, hired a car and I traced them to their station which happened to be the Edo State Police Command Headquarters in GRA, Benin City.
“When I got to the police station, I identified myself as the wife of Mr. Samuel Imaikop.
“I was severely beaten up, accused of being a wife of the leader of an armed robbery gang and I was detained for four nights without food and water and even without them taking my statement.
“I was released five days later after the intervention of my lawyer.
“To cover their evil deeds, the police hurriedly buried my husband and the labourers which he hired from 2+2 junction, a popular spot around the Aduwawa-Eyaen axis of the Benin-Auchi Express road”, she said.
Similarly, Mrs Rosemary Osahenrumwen Amadin through her counsel, J. I. Omorogbe is asking for N25m as compensation from the panel over the death of her husband, Mr Amadin Odewingie.
She said that her husband, a truck driver, was chased to his death by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Edo State Police Command at Ologbo in 2019.
Mrs Amadin said, in order to avoid being shot by the police, her husband jumped into the Ologbo River and when he requested for help, the police allegedly threatened to kill anyone who volunteered to help him while the police allegedly watched him drowned in the river.
The sitting of the panel continues today.