Thu. Jan 21st, 2021

IIP-SARS ORDERS SEN.YERIMA TO APPEAR OVER ALLEGATION OF CONNIVANCE WITH POLICE TO TORTURE, DETAIN A MERCHANT OVER N23M CLAIMS

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By Albert Akota

The Independent Investigative Panel on human rights violation by defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigerian Police on Wednesday ordered former governor of Zamfara state, Sen. Ahmad Sani Yerima to appear before it on January 12, 2021 in respect of allegations of mobilising some Police Officers to arrest, torture and detain a Katsina state business man, Alh. Musa Wapa over a claim of N23m.

The panel said that the name of the Senator was severally mentioned in Alh. Wapa’s complaint before it, hence the application by Alhaji Wapa on the need for the Sanator to join him as a necessary party is hereby”granted as prayed”.

The complainant testified how former governor of Zamfara state, Sen. Ahmad Sani Yerima used the IGP- Intelligence Response Team to deny him the payment of N25 million for three trailers of maize he supplied to his farm, Rufai Poultry (Nig.) ltd.

In his examination before the 11-Man panel chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), the complainant, Alh. Musa Wapa informed the panel that Sen. Yerima has been his business partner whom he (Wapa) owed the sum of N25m even as he admitted that he (Wapa) also owe the Senator N23m.

Continuing, he quickly added that while Sen.Yerima’s debt was due for payment, the obligation to pay his own debt is not yet due as at June 30th, 2020 when the Senator allegedly paid N3m to the Police team comprising of Abdullahi and Zakariyya of Area Command Kano state and IGP-IRT Panteka, Kaduna state to torture and detain him for six days.

He told the panel that on June 30, 2020 at about 6pm a Police vehicle suddenly stopped where he was repairing his tractor and started beating him in front of other people and later siezed some of his vehicles.

The complainant also narrated how the Police Officers handcuffed him, while one of them unleashed different forms of tortured to dehumanise him.

Led in his examination by NHRC’s Counsel to the panel, Afolabi Olawale Esq., the merchant stated that the said Police Officers did not spare his driver who he noted was arrested, put inside Police bus and was driven together with him from Katsina to Kano and later to Kaduna on different days.

According to Alhaji Wapa, the Police Officers gave them beatings while they were inside the bus and that his own personal car which they Police collected from him was also driven by one of the Officers to Kano state.

He said that his First Bank account has been frozen as a result of his issue with Sen. Yerima and the Police.

Besides, he told the panel that Sen. Yerima tricked him to deposit his Certificate of Occupancy in Jaiz bank under the pretext that his money will be paid, “and nothing came out of it”, he added.

Asked what he wants the panel to do for him, he pleaded with the panel for N100m compensation, for the alleged violations and tarnishing of his image, saying the Police made him to appear as a terrorist.

Besides, he prayed the panel to ensure that justice is served in the matter.

In his. cross-examination, counsel to the Nigerian Police, Mr. James Idachaba (DCP), told the panel that the Alhaji Wapa’s arrest was sequel to a court order, which the Wapa said he was not aware of.

The matter was. adjourned to January 12, 2021 for continuation of hearing.

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