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Family Demands Justice For Alleged Murder Of  University Student

A family has demanded justice for the alleged murder of a final-year student of the University of Port-Harcourt allegedly murdered by operatives of disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Testifying over his death before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, Barrister (Mrs) Hannah West, sister of the deceased, told the Commission that her brother who was twenty seven years of age was picked up by SARS operatives as he was on his way to withdraw money from ATM machine on March 13, 2019 and has not been seen since.

She said that he had left the hostel at the university and was on his way to withdraw money when he was arrested.

She said her family began searching for her brother on March 15, 2019 saying that she had gone to the SARS office in Rukpokwu to look for him but was told he was never arrested by SARS operatives.

Led in evidence by her counsel, Chima Obinna, the lady who had stood in for her father, Chief Daobu Nelson Yellowe, because of his age and frailty told the Commission of Inquiry that her elder brother had also gone to SARS office in search of her brother and was told he was never arrested.

She said that they filed a missing person’s complaint at the SOS Office close to Government House in Port-Harcourt and the police had begun investigation but had said the family was to be responsible for the cost of investigation.

She told the Commission that they had also published in the newspapers about her missing brother and tendered a copy of a newspaper in which it was published.

She however said that a tip-off from someone earlier detained by SARS operatives at Rukpokwu led them to the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital(UPTH)where his body was deposited telling the commission they were told his body was deposited by SARS operative.

She said her family had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police and were invited to Abuja.

The sister of the deceased told the commission that they had spent lots of money each time they visited the police in Rivers State before they were to go to the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

She told the commission that the family demands justice and would want the officers involved in the death of her brother to be prosecuted and had asked for one billion naira damages.

The panel had adjourned to December 1 for cross-examination.

Speaking in an interview, Barrister West said: “My brother was last seen on 13th of March, 2019 and he was reported missing by his colleagues in school. We began to search for him. We went to several police stations. I personally went to SARS twice. My brother also went there. Other people also went looking for him and we were told he was never in their custody. Now on the 26th of April, we found his body in UPTH mortuary. He was deposited there by men of SARS, Rukpokwu.  We got this information by fellow detainee, somebody who was once detained at SARS. This is the person that told us the fate of our son and brother.

“So we are here to tell the whole world what happened to this young man. He was 27 years old. He was a student of University of Port- Harcourt, department of Humanities. The course he was studying – he was a final year student – he was studying Christian and Religious Studies. We do not have details of the conclusive investigation report. That has not been availed to the family. That is part of what we told the panel today.

“We are demanding justice and we are demanding that these men be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and damages be paid to the family. We are demanding justice. The panel is in a good place to ascertain what happened and what should be done to the family”.

 

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