On Wednesday, March 23, a police officer informed a #EndSARS panel that the police do not torture individuals, but rather intimidate them into telling the truth.
Inspector Gambo Gadzama, who testified before the panel in January 2020 about the alleged torture of one Obinna Jonah in a police detention facility in Abuja, contended that the dead was never tortured as claimed in the petition.
“Nobody tortured anybody. We don’t torture suspects, we only scare them with words like ‘I will beat you’ so they can confess”
Mr Obinna was also detained as a member of an armed robbery and cult gang on January 29, 2020, according to Gadzama, after the gang’s leader, Chikazor, confessed and implicated 13 other gang members.
Mr Obinna was unwell at the time of his arrest, according to the officer, and his condition deteriorated throughout his imprisonment.
“I was called the next day that he had slumped and, we rushed him to Area 1 police clinic”
Mr Obinna was declared dead on arrival at the clinic, according to the police officer, and his body was deposited to the Wuse General Hospital mortuary by the investigative team leader. Gadzama also stated that they were unable to perform an autopsy because they were unable to locate any of Mr Obinna’s relatives.
During cross-examination, the police officer insisted that none of the 14 apprehended suspects had been tortured.
“Obinna was never tortured because he admitted to the allegations against him. Nobody tortured any of them”
The officer further stated that he has no idea if the deceased’s body is still in the mortuary because he was not the one who put the body.
The panel directed the police to investigate whether the deceased’s body was still at the mortuary.
One of the panel members, Garba Tetengi, who presided over the proceedings, said the panel can only order the release of a deceased person’s body after confirming that the morgue is still open.
The case was postponed until March 29 to allow for the approval of written addresses.