Mother of paralysed Ndukwe Ezekwe in tears at the SARS inquiry in Lagos

By Moji Eniola/Lagos

The mother of paralysed 34-year-old, Ndukwe Ekekwe, wept before a Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry as the case of her son was adjourned for the second time.

The case was adjourned till 20 November due to the absence of police counsel.

Ekekwe, now wheelchair bound, said he was attacked by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),

Ekekwe’s mother, wept when the Chairman of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry for Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, adjourned the case.

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She has been accompanying her son to the venue of the proceedings of the nine-man panel at Lekki, Lagos.

Ekekwe, a trader, on Nov. 3, narrated to the panel the circumstances that led to his paralysis.

He claimed that he was thrown down from a two-storey building at the Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos, by officers of SARS.

He consequently sustained spinal cord injuries.

He told the panel that SARS never told him the reason for his arrest.

On Tuesday, Okuwobi said that the case had to be adjourned for the second time.

The adjournment was due to absence of SARS counsel, Mr Emmanuel Eze.

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“Again, here we are and he is not with us. Due to the petitioner’s condition, we should not be adjourning and adjourning.

“The lawyer (Eze) said he was ill but assured us that he would be here on Friday.

“I do not know how long it will take for us to prevail on the police so that we will be able to do our duties as a panel.

“We have over 110 petitioners as at today, and we need to do our assignment quickly,” Okuwobi said.

The chairman said that Ezekwe’s case against SARS would be closed if SARS counsel would not be present on Nov. 20.

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The case of a second petitioner, Mr Olajide Fowotade, whose two front teeth were allegedly knocked out due to police brutality, was also adjourned due to Eze’s absence.

Ezekwe and Fowotade’s cases were both adjourned until Nov. 20.