By Nimat Otori
A businessman, Sunday Michael, has disclosed how he was allegedly tortured by operatives of the newly created Special Weapon and Tactics Team, SWAT, which replaced the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS in the Akodo area of Lagos State.
Michael, 30, explained that he was driving back home from his site in the Osoroko area of Ibeju Lekki, with his brother-in-law, Moses, last Thursday, when his car developed a fault.
According to him: “I parked by the side of the road to call my mechanic, who advised me to pour water on the vehicle, to allow the engine to cool. It was around 6 pm then.
” My brother-in-law ( Moses) went to get water while I stood by the car. Some policemen with the inscription FCID on their jackets came and started asking me questions. I later got to know that they were SWAT officers from Abuja. I told them where I was coming from and what happened to my vehicle.
“They searched my vehicle but did not find anything incriminating and they moved away and stayed in their vehicle. Some land thugs came with guns, machetes, and other dangerous weapons and ordered Moses who had come with the water and I, to go inside the policemen’s vehicle.
“ Our attempt to find out what the matter was resulted in beating. They took us to the parked police vehicle, where we were confronted with another round of beating from the policemen.
” The policemen hit our knee caps with every available object in their vehicle. They drove us to Akodo Divisional Police Station but did not take us inside to write any statement. One policeman whom they referred to as their leader met us in front of the police station and asked what the matter was. He expressed helplessness, saying that his boss in Abuja, who I later learnt to be ACP Sanusi, had the final say on my release.
They drove us away from the station to a bus stop where they shot sporadically, arrested some people, put them in their vehicle, while I was with one of them, Felix, in my own vehicle .”
” Often, the other policemen in the police vehicle would come down and asked Felix who was driving my car if I had cooperated or said anything but he kept telling them that I had not spoken and when it was getting late I had to bail myself with over N20,000”.
He, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to order full-scale investigations into the mission of the Abuja based SWAT officers to Lagos, as well as an apology for what he described as inhuman treatment meted on him and Moses.