A witness, Abbah Onoja, had told the panel probing cases of police brutality in Abuja, that the police tortured his co-detainee, Obinna Jonah, to death in Abuja on January 28, 2020.
Onoja, who was called to testify in the case of alleged extra-judicial killing, lodged before the panel by the deceased person’s brother, Okechukwu Jonah, recalled that he was arrested along with his friend, Chizoba Samuel, at Anguwar Shehu, Karimo, Abuja on January 27, 2020.
According to Punch, Onoja told the panel that the arrest took place at Samuel’s place, with the police accusing them of belonging to a cult called, Supreme Vikings Confraternity.
He said Obinna was later arrested that same day, also on the allegation of being a cultist.
The witness noted that they were all detained at the police Anti-One Chance Unit in Jabi, Abuja.
According to him, the unit, headed by DSP Jumbo Jumbo, later moved to Abattoir, a police facility being occupied by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other tactical police units.
He said after being tortured by the police, Samuel confessed to belonging to the cult, and implicated the deceased, Obinna, to be a member.
He said Obinna, who was later brought to join them, also admitted to being a member after he was tortured.
Onoja added, “They asked for his firearms, but he denied having any.
“After much torture, it got to the point that he couldn’t talk anymore and started foaming in the mouth.”
He said a total of 14 of them arrested for allegedly being cultists, were later moved to the Abuja Police Command.
He recalled that Obinna could not talk despite being hit repeatedly by an officer with a baton.
The witness testified further that they were all moved from there to SARS detention centre at Abattoir for further investigation.
He said, “When we got there, one Corporal Abubakar asked Jumbo Jumbo in pidgin English what should be done with Obinna.
“He was kept in a cell, but by the next morning, he was dead. The inmates were asked to bring his corpse out. That was on January 28, 2020.”
The witness said that apart from Jumbo, others, including one Sergeant Gambo and one Sergeant Biggie, were involved in the case.
The Justice Suleiman Galadima-led panel adjourned the matter till February 9, 2021, for the police defence team to cross-examine the petitioner and the two witnesses.
SaharaReporters, New York