SARS killed my only son, extorted N0.4 m from me – father tells panel
By Onyinye Ekwealor
Mr. Emma Chimezie Adimachukwu, has told the Anambra state judicial panel of enquiry on police brutality how operatives of the now banned Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) from Awkuzu, led by CSP James Nwafor, allegedly murdered his only son, Obinna Xandy Adimachukwu and extorted the sum of N400,000 from him for the upkeep of his supposed detained son.
According to him, the deceased was apprehended alongside his friend on March 18, 2014 while they were at the Ezenwata Park, Upper Iweka Onitsha, waiting for some goods.
The business which gave him leverage to travel to India to purchase feminine accessories availed him some foreign currency. During the time of their wait, SARS officers in mufti, drove straight into them and the people seating with him all took to their heels except him and his bosom friend.
“SARS officers bundled them into the van. In the course of the manhandling, the officers saw dollars in his pocket and concluded he was a criminal. Still agitating and defending himself, the officers swore to take him where he would fight more. When they arrived the station, Obinna was thrown in cell Number 5 where hardened criminals were kept.
Adimachukwu said that, as soon as he got wind of the arrest, he rushed to the SARS Awkuzu office to ask for his release. And after several attempts to speak with CSP James Nwafor, he was informed that the CSP was not on seat and, worse, that his son was not there.
An officer confided in Adimachukwu that his son’s name was on the list and asked him to come back the next day.
Subsequently, the father of the deceased met with prominent people in Oraifite, Ekwusigo local government area, among whom was Emeka Ofor, seeking their assistance for the release of his son.
“Mr James acknowledged that Obinna Adimachukwu was detained but demanded the sum of N500,000 to take care of him. We negotiated and paid N400,000 instead.
Two days after paying the negotiated N400,000, Mr Adimachukwu asked for the release of his son only to be chased out of the SARS premises. At his refusal, the CSP ordered his arrest and casually said that his son was dead.
A statement, purportedly made by the son, was read to the father after the father was released. Unsatisfied of the poorly constructed statement, the man asked to see the statement. The officer angrily ordered him out of his office.
“The shock of my only son’s death caused me partial stroke, Adimachikwu cried. No amount of money can ever bring him back but the reason of my petition is to expose the wickedness of some people and plead with the government to be true and bring total end to this cruelty”, he concluded.