A petitioner in Ekiti State, Ayotomiwa Elegbeleye, 30, has narrated how he was illegally detained for 23 days by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for failing to give them bribe.
Mr Elegbeleye told the Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Enquiry into allegations of police brutality on Friday that during his detention, he was tortured with a hot pressing iron.
According to him, eight SARS operatives arrested him on January 7 around 11:55 p.m. in his home at Ikere-Ekiti.
He said upon getting to the police custody, the police accused him of armed robbery and requested that he should pay N500,000 for his release.
Mr Elegbeleye, who was brought to the panel from the Ado-Ekiti correctional facility where he is being remanded, showed the panel injuries he sustained from the hot pressing iron the operatives used on him.
“I was arrested by the SARS operatives around 11:55 p.m in my house in Ikere-Ekiti without them telling me the crime I committed. That night, I was taken to their office. They beat and tortured me with pressing iron, that I should confess to being an armed robber.
“I was hung up with a rod. I gasped for breath, begging them to release me, but they said I would only be released after the payment of N500,000.
“After 23 days in their custody and with serious bodily injuries, they took me to the police hospital in Oke-Isa, when they felt I might die due to my worsening health condition,” he narrated.
He pleaded with the panel to credibly investigate the matter, so, he could be out of prison.
“I come to the panel for them to assist me in getting justice from this suffering I am passing through for an offence I don’t know anything about. I need urgent medicare now because I am having serious difficulty in breathing due to the way I was beaten by the SARS officers,” he concluded.
Mr Elegbeleye’s lawyer, Layi Obisesan, told the panel that his client is optimistic that he would get justice over the brutality he suffered in the hands of the SARS operatives.
The police representatives were not present at the panel.
The chairperson of the panel, Justice Cornelius Akintayo (retd.), adjourned the sitting till December 3 and urged the parties to present their witnesses on the adjournment date.