Nigeria: #EndSARS - Widow Narrates How Police Killed Husband Over N200 Airtime

20 January 2021

Mrs Sobowale claims she was tortured for four days while carrying a three-month pregnancy.

A widow in Ogun State has narrated how officers of the Nigerian Police Force reportedly tortured and detained her for four days despite being pregnant.

Adebimpe Sobowale told the Ogun State Judicial Panel of Enquiry sitting in Abeokuta, on Tuesday, that her husband was killed in police detention over N200 airtime that was reportedly traced to her phone.

Mrs Sobowale explained that she was arrested by police on February 8, 2020, over allegations that she committed fraud with her SIM card and then tortured for four days while carrying a three-month pregnancy.

"They (police) asked me to write whatever they dictated to me as a statement. They said I belonged to a gang of fraudsters and claimed that my SIM card was used to collect N200 recharge (card). They said they tracked it at Zain (Airtel) office and it brought my picture.

"I told them I don't know what they were talking about and I refused to implicate myself in the statement."

She told the panel that her husband was subsequently arrested and she gained her freedom after spending four days in detention.

"They arrested my husband on February 10 and released me the next day," Mrs Apbowale said. "Some days later, I was informed that my husband had died in detention."

Asked if she recalls the identity of the officers who perpetrated the act, she said: "they were three SARS operatives but I can only identify two by face and one of them is called Inspector Apiah Moses."

She told the panel the death of her husband has made it difficult for her to feed her kids.

Mrs Sobowale said already had a son before her arrest and the pregnancy also produced another baby boy whom she brought before the panel.

Witness

Testifying in support of the widow, Ojo Friday, who was the witness, said he was the one who secured Mrs Sobowale's bail.

The panel, however, adjourned the matter till February 4, 2021, for the respondents to produce Mr Moses.

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