It was a tearful day as more petitioners in Abuja gave various testimonies at the Independent Investigation Panel set up to look into the allegations of brutality and highhandedness by personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
While the session is ongoing in some states, that of the nation’s capital continued for the second day on Thursday at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
Two cases came up for hearing but the first, which has to do with an allegation of unlawful detention, could not be heard as both the petitioner, one Bala Mohammed and the respondents or their representatives were absent at the venue.
The respondents were the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police at the FCT Command, and the defunct SARS.
The session was, however, thrown into a moody atmosphere as a testimony taken by one Chinenye Igwetu, narrated how her sister, Miss Linda, died as a result of the action of a policeman.
She recounted that Linda was killed by a policeman on the night of July 3, 2018, while on patrol.
Chinenye, who broke down in tears at a point while narrating what happened, said her sister had gone out with her friends in celebration of her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) passing out parade scheduled for the next day.
According to the petitioner, the police claimed that late Linda who was in the car with two others refused to stop when they were flagged down.
Following the refusal, the police were said to have burst the tyres of the vehicle but in the process, Linda was shot and that led to her death, Chinenye said.
Then she received a call from one of her sister’s friends who was also in the car at about 4:30am.
The man, identified as Mr Tobi, asked her to come over to the Garki Hospital and upon her arrival, she noticed a pool of blood at the entrance with several policemen there.
“I saw Tobi dressed in blood and he was in handcuffs. I asked him what happened, and he could not answer because he was still in shock.
“A policewoman there took me aside and asked if I was the sister to Linda. She was like I have to be strong and narrated the experience that they had to trail these guys (that’s my sister and her colleagues) to the hospital,” the petitioner said.
She added, “Tobi said on their way from Civic Plaza. After they passed the plaza, they heard a loud sound and he thought it was one of his tyres and he looked at the mirrors and saw that the tyres were ok.
“He said my sister tapped him slowly and was gasping for air and when they turned on the light in the car, she was already in a pool of blood.”
Chinenye noted that they later discovered that Linda had been shot, adding that the policewoman at the hospital identified the policeman who fired the shot.
After giving her testimony, she demanded justice and compensation for her family who she said were yet to get over the incident.
The sitting was later adjourned until Friday and scheduled to commence by 10am.