SARS tortured me with hot pressing iron for not paying N500,000 bribe, victim tells panel

A thirty-year-old man, Mr. Ayotomiwa Elegbeleye, yesterday, told Ekiti State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Allegations of Police Brutality how he was tortured by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Elegbeleye said he was arrested by eight SARS operatives in his house in Ikere-Ekiti on January 7, 2020, at about 11:55 p.m. and taken into custody where he was repeatedly tortured.

According to him, he was hanged with a rod while the officers tortured him with pressing iron for 23 days over his failure to offer N500,000 requested for him to be released.

During the sitting, the victim, who was brought from the Correctional Centre, showed members of the panel the bodily injuries he sustained from the hot pressing iron when he was in their custody.

He said: “I was hanged up with a rod. I gasped for breath begging them to release me but they said I would only be released with a 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 deteriorating health condition.

Elegbeleye, who maintained that he was never involved in any criminal activities, pleaded with the panel to investigate his case with a view to releasing him from the prison.

However, counsel to the police said a case of the alleged conspiracy, murder, and armed robbery against the complainant was before the State High Court.

Counsel to the complainant, Layi Obisesan, argued that his client was before the panel to seek justice over the brutality he suffered in the hands of the SARS operatives.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Cornelius Akintayo (rtd), adjourned the matter to December 3, 2020, for continuation of hearing, urging parties to present their witnesses on the adjournment date. (The Guardian)

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