The policemen walk into the cell and hand the next victim a plain sheet of paper to sign his signature. Thereafter they collect back the plain sheet, and then jokingly ask him; “which water you want? Ikorodu abi Island?”. Within days of the signing, they come back to pick the person, tie a piece of cloth around his mouth and take him out of the cell, not to be seen again.
The Nigerian Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, located in Ikeja Lagos, may have become the address for the extrajudicial killing of Nigerians.
Our source, who was miraculously released from the command some time ago, narrated to Ekekeee his ordeal. He said he saw the way people were being singled out for execution night after night.
A night or two before he was eventually released, after the intervention of a big elected government official in Abuja, they came near the gate of the cell and shouted the name (which we are withholding) of their next victim. On hearing his name, the man began to sob, and ran to hide in the toilet. The policemen came into the cell and threatened everybody to produce him or be the ones to replace him. Knowing the end stared him in the face, the man eventually came out and watched his wrists grabbed by the awaiting hands of the cops. “Shebi we tell you say you go die?,” they taunted him. Minutes later, a gunshot outside the cell told the detainees what they feared: another person may have been executed extra judiciously. Till our source left the place, he never saw the man again.
A nursing mother went to see her husband held in the cell for a long time. She brought food and N1000 cash for him. The policemen collected the food and money and asked her to go back, promising they would deliver the items to the man. However, our source said the man had been executed a month earlier.
Ekekeee sought to confirm the knowledge of these happenings from four different police officers at different locations in Lagos. While pleading anonymity, they all confirmed that cases handled at the Ikeja Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are cases ‘between life and death”.
One police source specifically told us; “Anybody wey go there no dey come back”.
When we asked him why they don’t take the suspects to court since it is the courts that have the constitutional powers to decide matters of execution of offenders, he said that the police don’t trust the courts. “Dem go release them. And if them release them, our life no safe again.”
After execution, the bodies of their victims are dumped inside a canal in either Ikorodu or Lagos Island.
Ekekeee called the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, to confirm if she is aware that this happens in Ikeja, a man who said he was her Personal Assistant took the call and gave our reporter another number which he claimed was her direct line. We called the line twice, it rang without being picked.
We sent a text message seeking her comments, and up till when this report was being published, received no response.