A witness has narrated how her brother died after torture by officers of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police.
The witness, Doris Idedia, appeared on Wednesday in Abuja before a nine-member panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate allegations of violations of human rights by the police.
Judicial panels of inquiry have been set up by many state governments in Nigeria following the #EndSARS street protests of October against police brutality.
In Abuja, only the panel set up by the NHRC is investigating such incidents.
Mrs Idedia told the panel that a police inspector identified only as Kingsley tortured her brother, Festus Idehen, over a false accusation that he stole a car in 2016.
“He did not steal the car but bought it from Onyekachi, his in-law. Onyekachi also confirmed that he was the one who sold the vehicle to my brother,” she said.
She said Mr Sunday (Onyekachi) confirmed to the officers that he sold the car to Mr Idehen but the officers allegedly brushed off his attestation.
She said despite pleas from the doctor providing care for Mr Idehen that he needed more medical attention, the police inspector, Mr Kingsley, insisted on taking him to Abuja.
She said Mr Idehen was tortured over the next three days in Abuja before he was pronounced dead on September 6 in a Asokoro hospital.
She said Mr Kingsley had ignored their calls after taking the victim away from Kaduna, only to “invite us to Abuja on September 6, the day Festus died.”
“When I came to Abuja, he had already died. I didn’t see my brother. It was the nurse taking care of him at the cell who informed me that my brother really suffered a lot in the cell, that he didn’t eat anything and was not taken to any hospital for treatment.
“When Kingsley saw me, he asked me to join the vehicle, that my brother was being taken to the hospital. I called my brother by his name but he did not answer me.
Inspector-General of Police and Abuja Police Commissioner was ignored.
Mrs Idedia is demanding N200 million compensation from the police over the death of her brother.
After her presentation, the panel tasked the police counsel to present the accused officer at the next hearing on December 15.