Customs officer: How SARS operatives killed my son in 2011

Customs officer: How SARS operatives killed my son in 2011


An operative of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Isaac Edoh, on Thursday told the Edo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for victims of human rights abuse by men of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), about the torture and killing of his son in 2011.

Edoh, who is from Benue State, said the last time he saw his son, Baba Edoh, was in the custody of the Edo State Police Command in 2011.

He told the panel that his son was an undergraduate of English Literature at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, before he was allegedly killed by the police.

According to him, sometime in June 2011, he received an anonymous call from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the state police command that his son was arrested along Auchi road for alleged kidnapping.

He said he immediately took permission from his superior at the office in Lagos and rushed to Benin to see his son, but saw him lying in a pool of his blood, obviously from physical assault and inhuman treatment melted on him by the police operatives.

“I tried speaking with him, but was prevented by officers on duty, despite knowledge of the relationship between me and the suspect in their custody,” he said.

The Customs officer said the following day; he visited the station and discovered that the name of his son was not on any of the records of the detainees in the cell.

He said, “I immediately contacted the officer-in-charge of kidnapping section who informed me that my son was not in their custody. I was informed that he was one of the suspects paraded on a national television on June 4, 2011.

“I was told armed robbers attacked and shot my son, while the police was conducting further investigations in Auchi. None of the police officers sustained injuries. The only person they said died was my son. Since his death, the police have refused to release the corps.

“I later filed a suit in the high court for fundamental rights, and got judgment, but unfortunately the police appealed the case on the basis of identity conflict. The Court of Appeal urged us to return to the High Court for retrial. Since then I have been demoralised, and don’t know whether he is alive or dead; all I want is justice.”

Chairman of the Panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (Rtd), admitted a photograph of the son, Compact Disk (CD) of paraded suspects, and court proceedings as exhibits.

Ehigiamusoe adjourned hearing on the case to Thursday, November 17, so as to get response from the police.

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