Godswill Burabari Menegbo, a young man, has narrated how he was assaulted by policemen wearing branded uniforms of the notorious unit of the Nigeria Police Force, which was disbanded in 2020 after #EndSARS protests, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
According to Godswill, the incident happened on Wednesday around Stadium Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Mass Communication graduate of the Rivers State University alleged that the disbanded police unit has been revived in the state.
SARS was notorious for brutality, extrajudicial killings, and human rights abuses.
Former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on October 11, 2020, announced the disbandment of the police unit following nationwide protests over its brutality.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, Godswill said the officers accused him of recording him and forcibly collected his phone from him.
He added that he was assaulted, forced into a dirty gutter and made to crawl from one end to the other.
Godswill said he was left alone after the officers went through his phone and realised he was recording them.
He said, “I left home this morning at 10 am and met a crowd of people at a mechanic workshop by Stadium Road, Port Harcourt. When I got closer to the scene, I learned that someone had allegedly tried to snatch a car and members of the Special Anti-robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force were present to arrest the culprit.
“I stood, as others, and watched the SARS officers beat up the cuffed young man mercilessly. They even shot at him twice but none of the bullets hit the target.
“While I observed the incident unfold into a gory sight, I received a notification on my phone and immediately brought out the device to check my messages.
“I hadn't unlocked my device when one of the officers sighted the phone from a distance and suddenly reached to snatch the phone from me. When he approached me, he seized the phone saying that I was making videos of them.
“To my surprise, another one swiftly ripped my shirt, leaving me with only my trousers and then began hitting me with a serpentine belt without letting me explain myself.
“After being battered with injuries all over my body, the last straw that broke the camel's back was to force me inside a gutter and make me crawl from one end to the other. Despite subjecting me to that sordid condition, they threatened to shoot me if I didn't keep on grovelling in the gutter.
“After I had crawled through the dirt for long, having been exhausted, they ordered me to come out and unlock my phone which I quickly did. They went through the phone but didn't find any videos of themselves in it. I was subsequently given back my phone and they got into their car and sped off.”
The atrocities of the defunct SARS sparked protests tagged #EndSARS in some states in 2020. The protesters demanded that the police unit, notorious for extrajudicial killings and human rights violations, should be scrapped.
The government later said it had scrapped the unit but the atrocities continued.