By Godwin Edeh
A 33-ear-old victim of alleged police brutality, Mr Terfa Gundu of No. 11 Sam Odeh Street, old GRA in Makurdi, has narrated how he was tortured and was almost rendered impotent by operatives of the disbanded SARS in Makurdi.
Testifying before the 8-man Benue State Judicial Panel of Enquiry into human rights violations by the Police, sitting in Makurdi, Mr Terfa Gundu explained that, on 4 March, 2020, one Hassan Yakubu, the Administrative Officer of MOPOL 13 squadron, led SARS operatives to arrest him as he was going to a nearby shop to buy noodles.
According to him, a Peugeot 406 and a Toyota Hilux conveying SARS operatives came to a halt by him and the operatives descended on him with gun butts and sticks, beating him up.
The victim further stated that, he was handcuffed, tortured and hanged in between two tables for trumped up charges of theft.
He continued that, despite all pleas for mercy, the officers poured petrol on his private part and other parts of his body before setting his body aflame, causing him serious body burns.
The victim told the panel how, out of desperation, he lied to the police to save his life when he told them that the alleged stolen properties were in his house and they carted away all his properties.
The matter was later transferred to the Benue State Police headquarters, where he passed out as a result of the prolonged torture. He woke up to find himself at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi where he was admitted as a result of his critical condition.
Counsel to the victim, Terna Yaji presented 3 evidence during the hearing, including original pictures and a medical report and letter of petition written to the Inspector General of police, AIG Zone 4, Commissioner of Police, Benue State and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Without objection from the police counsel, FN Agwu, the matter was later adjourned to 30 November, 2020.
During the Monday 23 sitting, 6 cases were heard, with one struck out as judgement has been granted by the National Human Rights Commission in favour of the complainant while others were adjourned to 1 December, 2020 for further hearing as the parties were absent.