From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
A 72-year-old pensioner, Fubara Briggs, has demanded for the sum of N200 million from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) over the death of his friend identified as Monday Burabari, whom he alleged took ill and died after he was tortured by policemen at the Borikiri Police Division, Port Harcourt.
Also, a victim of Police brutality, Festus Osuagu, has asked for N100 million compensation from Police, for loss of his two legs and memory after attack on him by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Port Harcourt.
Briggs said he was the chairman of Spy Police in NAOC where his late friend also worked, saying that both of them challenged the ill-treatment meted out on them by their superiors after the exit of the white people who created that department to empower host communities.
He said: “This Monday Burabari was of the same mind with me and we decided to resist them. We wrote petitions, we challenged management but finally, when they were able to walk me out on age basis.
“They invited Monday Burabari for a petition that was written years ago. So, they tried him with police officers from Borikiri. How can police officers from Borikiri come to try somebody in Agip base?
“After the torture that day, the man challenged them that the police office is not supposed to try him because there are documents from the Inspector General of Police telling us the status of the spy police and the Nigeria Police Force.
“When Monday challenged him that he has no power to try him, he ordered Monday to be brutalized. That was in 2012. From that day, Monday started getting sick. They retained him to work until 2015 when he wrote another petition against corruption.
“Then, they had to lay him off. When they lay him off, he could not finance his health issues because he was complaining of chest problem. They sacked him and the problems became worse. That day they detained him, there was no medical attention, no food.
“So, it aggravated the illness. The son called me one morning that my friend is dead”, Briggs explained, alleging that police aggravated his illness that led to his death.
“So, I want this panel to compel Agip to pay his family N200 million as compensation because they (diseased) are suffering. You can see none of them are here because they don’t have transport”, he maintained.
Another victim of Police brutality, Osuagu, has to the Justice Chukwunenye Uriri-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry sitting at Obi Wali International Conference Centre, Port Harcourt, how he lost his legs and job and now suffering partial memory loss after he was allegedly attacked by operatives of the defunct SARS.
Osuagu said over two years after the incident, the operatives never told him why he was attacked and arrested.
He recalled that the incident happened on January 18, 2018, at No. 4, Blessed Young Beke Close, off Chibiak Avenue, Eliparanwo in Port Harcourt.
He said the SARS operatives swooped on him like armed robbers and he made an unsuccessful attempt to run for his life.
“On that day I was attacked, I thought it was armed robbers. So, I ran into the ceiling of a two storey building in a bid to escape. They followed me into the ceiling and in the process I fell from that height. They carried me and took me to their station.
“That resulted in me not being able to walk well till now. I suffer partial loss of memory and stiff neck as well. Till today, I don’t know why I was attacked like that”, the victim narrated.
Osuagu stated that it was only after a superior SARS officer saw his condition and ordered that he should be sent to the hospital that he was moved and abandoned without an explanation on why he was arrested.
He appealed to the Commission to prevail on the authorities to pay me a compensation of N100 million to cushion the effects of his predicament.
“No amount of money will be equivalent to what I am going through, they should award the sum of N100 million to me to cushion the effects of this predicament”, Osuagu demanded.