“My Husband Died In Police Custody Because Of N200 Airtime” – Wife Tells Panel

A widow and mother of two, Adebimpe Sobowale, appeared before the Ogun State Panel of Inquiry on police brutality and human rights violations today January 19 where she shared the story of how her husband died while allegedly being detained by some officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS at the Zonal Intervention Squad in the Odeda area of the state over a N200 recharge card.

Narrating her story amidst tears, Adebimpe said she was arrested on Feb. 8, 2020, and taken to a holding cell in the station on an allegation that her SIM card was used to carry out a fraudulent action.

“They used the thing, which was plugged to an electric socket, to shock me, and asked me to write whatever they dictated to me as a statement. They said I belonged to a gang of fraudsters. They said my sim card was used to collect N200 recharge. They said they tracked it at Zain (Airtel) office and it brought my picture,” she said.

Sobowale told the panel that she was released two days later after she insisted she was innocent but that her husband, now late, was arrested a day before her release.

“I told them I don’t know what they were talking about and I refused to implicate myself in the statement. They arrested my husband on Feb. 10 and released me the next day” she said.

The distraught mother told the panel that that was the last time she saw her husband as she was informed about his passing some days later.

“Some days later, I was informed that my husband had died in detention,” she said.

Sobowale said she was arrested by three SARS officers but she could only identify two of them and she recalled that one of them was called Inspector Apiah Moses.

She told the panel that until his death, her husband was a plank seller at the Mowe area of Lagos State.

The panel adjourned the case till February 4 while the respondents were asked to produce Inspector Apiah Moses, who is the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in the case.

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