A witness, Abbah Onoja, explained to the panel investigating cases of police brutality in Abuja how a co-detainee, Obinna Jonah, was tortured to death in the Abuja police custody on January 28, 2020.
Onoja, who was called to testify in the case of alleged extra-judicial killing lodged before the panel by the deceased person’s brother, Okechukwu Jonah disclosed that he was arrested along with his friend, Chizoba Samuel, at Anguwar Shehu, Karimo, Abuja on January 27, 2020.
He explained that he was arrested at Samuel’s place, with the accusation by the police that they belong to a cult called, Supreme Vikings Confraternity.
He noted that Obinna was arrested that same day on the allegation of being a cultist also.
Onoja explained further that they were all detained at the police Anti-One Chance Unit in Jabi, Abuja.
The unit was said to be headed by DSP Jumbo Jumbo, and later moved to Abattoir, a police facility being occupied by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other tactical police units.
He narrated that after being tortured by the police, Samuel confessed to belonging to the cult, and implicated Obinna, to be a member.
He said the deceased, who was later brought to join them, also admitted to being a member.
Onoja added, “They asked for his firearms, but he denied having any.
“After much torture, it got to a point that he couldn’t talk anymore and started foaming in the mouth.”
He explained further that a total of 14 of them arrested over the allegation of being cultists, were later moved to the Abuja Police Command.
He disclosed that Obinna could not talk despite being hit repeatedly by an officer with a baton.
The witness said they were later moved to SARS detention centre at Abattoir for further investigation.
He said, “When we got there, one Corporal Abubakar asked Jumbo in pidgin English what should be done with Obinna.
“Jumbo told him that he (Obinna) should be dropped.
“He was kept in a cell, but by the next morning, he was dead. The inmates were asked to bring his corpse out. That was on January 28, 2020.”
The witness later revealed that apart from Jumbo, one Sergeant Gambo and one Sergeant Biggie, were involved in the case.
The Justice Suleiman Galadima-led panel however, adjourned the matter till February 9, 2021 for the police defence team to cross-examine the petitioner and the two witnesses.