By Bukar Bolori
A petitioner, Otomerhe Onaodowan, on Monday told the Independent Investigative Panel on human rights violations by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units in Abuja, how her two sons Collins Onaodowan and Owen Onaodowan were extra-judicially killed by the police, in Delta, in 2010.
The complainant, an elderly woman, informed the panel that her two sons went to watch premier league at Duro Stores, while watching in the company of other spectators, armed robbers invaded the store and shot one of the spectators, a soldier in the foot.
Testifying before Dr Garba Tetengi, who stood in for the Chairman, she said that while everyone ran for safety, the owner of Duro Stores held on to her two boys and claimed that they were part of the armed robbery gang, while the second soldier present called the police and the boys were whisked away to Ekpan Police Station.
Immediately the news got to her about their arrest she and their father went to the police station where they were being detained, though they were denied entry on the account that it was late and was advised to come back the next day.
Otomerhre said when she visited the police station the next day, she saw her children in a degrading and inhuman condition, she noted that her two boys one a university undergraduate and the other a corper with the National Youth Service Corp “were stripped naked and lying on the floor”.
On her third visit to Ekpan Police Station, the family was informed about the death of the two boys “ the DPO showed my husband the pictures of the bodies of my children, but their corpse has not been released to the family till date.”
Under cross-examination, Counsel to respondents, Malik Taiwo, asked if there were any steps she took to find out what led to the death of her children. At this point, she informed the panel that after the death of her children, she went to National Human Rights Commission, thereafter the case was charged to court.
In court, at the end of the trial, the case was stuck out due to lack of evidence.
Taiwo further sought to know why the court judgement was not filed alongside the petition before the panel.
The panel ruled that the certified true copies of the judgement be presented before the panel at the adjourned date.
The matter was adjourned to 21st March 2022, for a continuation of hearing and defence.