An 89-year-old man, Alabina Romeo, from Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, has asked the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Police Brutality order the Nigeria Police to release his son, Silas Romeo, to him dead or alive.
Romeo’s demand came as Ipalibo Manuel, a retired civil servant, narrated how operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) killed his nephew, Godstime Adokiye because he failed to raise N100,000 for his bail.
Testifying before the Justice Chukwunenye Uriri-led Commission in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Romeo said his son, 55, was arrested on September 16, 2016, by SARS operatives along Aggrey Road in Port Harcourt and taken to the SARS office in Borikiri, Port Harcourt.
“They called me on phone that I should come and see my son. I travelled from Abonnema where I sell firewood to Port Harcourt. When I got there, they said I should bring N50,000 for my son’s bail.
“I went back to Abonnema, ran round and was able to raise N20,000. I got there and they rejected the money, insisting that it must be N50,000. I told them that that was all I could raise.
“It was then they told me that my son was not with them. I have not seen him since then and I want the Panel to help me tell Nigeria Police to release my son alive or his corpse so that I can bury him well. I believe wherever he is now, he is not at rest,” he said.
On his part, Manuel told the Commission how his nephew, Godstime Adokiye allegedly died in the custody of the disbanded SARS after he failed to raise a bribe of N100,000 the operatives demanded for his freedom in 2016.
“My nephew went to play ball at Borokiri Sand Field. On his way back with friends, he was arrested and taken to SARS office since 2016. When I got there with the N30,000 I managed to raise, they threatened me and told me my nephew wasn’t there.
“I told them I am retired that I had N30,000 and not N100,000 as they demanded. They refused and I had to go back to Abonnema. I was threatened not to come back again,” Manuel lamented.
The retiree appealed to the panel to help him secure his nephew’s corpse so he could give him a proper burial.