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How SARS operatives extorted and brutalised man over passport

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A Nigerian man, identified simply as Debola, has accused men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of brutality and extortion over his brother’s passport found in his possession during a stop-and-search operation in the Epe area of Lagos State.

 

It was gathered that Debola was travelling to Akure when the policemen stopped the bus conveying him and subjected all the passengers to a search.

When it got to Debola’s turn, it was learnt that the policemen found nothing incriminating on him, but took him into custody because of his brother’s passport found in his possession.

Debola said in a series of tweets, which was reposted on Instablog9ja, that the policemen accused him of going to assassinate his brother, adding that when he got to the Ketu Ereyun Police Station, the cops demanded N1.5m for his release.

He wrote, “Sars stopped my bus today around EPE, I was traveling to Akure from ajah. They stopped my bus and searched me, thinking I’m a scammer, they found nothing. They searched my bag and found my brother’s international passport in there. That’s how it started.

“They accused me of going to kill the owner of the passport and that I was running away. I told them it was my brother’s. As I was about calling my brother, they collected my phone and started beating me with big stick telling me to enter their vehicle and asked my bus to go.

“We got there, they asked me and the other people they’ve arrested to remove our clothes and they started taking pictures. I was just confused because I was trying to figure out what exactly I did. They took us to the counter planning to take us to the cell. That’s where I started pleading for what I didn’t even know my offense was.

“The one that beat me with the stick came to me and said I’m acting stubborn and he’d let me know there’s nothing I can do with whatever they do to me. I was speechless. After several pleading, they called me outside and said they’ll collect money from me. They said 1.5million. I was shocked. I pleaded and told them I don’t have that kind of money. They didn’t even listen.”

Debola further alleged that the policemen took him to a Point of Sales operator, where N55,000 was withdrawn from his account before he was released, adding that he had evidence to back up his claim.

He added on his Twitter page, “Thank God I had spare money with me I would have been stranded. This brutality is getting too much. I didn’t write this to attract people’s pity, I just want you guys to be careful out there all the time. We the youths are not safe at all. These Sars people can take one’s life and the world wouldn’t even know they did.

“I dislocated my arm when one of them was beating me. I’m waiting for access bank to send me my account history so I can get the lady’s full account number and give it to the police so they can help me call her. The POS spot is directly opposite the station.”

Reacting to the development, the Police Complaint Unit, @PoliceNG_CRU, tweeted, “Your complaint is hereby acknowledged and investigation has been initiated. Your tracking number is #CRU195465, Thank you for contacting NPF-CRU.”

However, in a follow-up reaction, Debola tweeted, “THEY’VE REFUNDED MY MONEY THIS MORNING OO. With a little compensation. Thanks to everyone that helped me tag people. God bless you. Guys pls be careful out there o. Sars are angry with youths for no reasons.”

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