Alhaji Suleiman Yerima, a business man has accused the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone Two Lagos, AIG Joseph Mbu of conniving with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to detain and torture him for 80 days.
Leadership reports that the victim petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, Yerima alleging that AIG Mbu ordered the policemen under his jurisdiction to torture him and the managing director of his firm, Uwem Antia over a Foreign Exchange, (FOREX) business transaction in which he claimed to have fulfilled his own obligation.
On Imbu’s instruction, Yerima, said the policemen led by one DSP Ibrahim Dantoro allegedly buried their faces into buckets of water, pierced needle into Antia’s private part and inflicted life threatening injuries on his legs.
Narrating his bitter experience, Yerima said on March 3, 2015, he was invited to EFCC office in respect of a petition written against him and Antia by one Denis Ale and Mrs. Gladys Aginwa of Standard Chartered Bank, Lagos.
The victim who visited the EFCC office with Antia, in company of his lawyers learnt Ale alleged that he gave him N120 million to source for dollars and that he failed to fulfill the bargain.
“I told the operatives that it is not N120m but N627m which they sent to Uwem Antia’s account with Zenith Bank. Antia, who is the Managing Director of Kafisto oil and Gas Ltd., was the one that brought the customers to me and my duty was to source for dollars.
“When Mr. Antia confirmed the alert of N627m in his account, I gave them $1 million in cash. The next day, Antia gave them the balance of $2.250m and both transactions were properly documented. During our interrogation, Antia supported our statements with documentary proof of evidence and clearly stated in his written and oral statements that I had given him the balance of $2.250m which he delivered to Denis Ale,”Yerima said.
Despite Antia’s testimony and evidence, Yerima claimed Mr. Adeola, Head of BFF, EFCC, still ordered that he and Antia should be detained.
Yerima said that they were denied bail and access to their families and lawyers by the EFCC Director of Operations, IIiyasu Kwarbai and when this was challenged, they were rushed to a magistrate court on March 12 where the commission obtained a detention order for 30 days.
“On the evening of March 13 around 8pm, policemen from Zone two led by one DSP Dantoro came to the EFCC detention facility. Antia was released to the officers on the instruction of Kwarbai and he was handcuffed by the officers and his legs chained.
“The officers started beating him mercilessly in the presence of EFCC officials, the policemen later took him away to their torture chambers at Zone two and continued the torture under the directive of Mr. Joseph Mbu and supervised by Dantoro.
“Over 250 people are in EFCC detention cells, some have stayed for four months, some six months. EFCC did waterboarding to me and Antia and it was because a friend reached former IG Suleiman Abba that I was not beaten, but my life is in danger, the policemen and EFCC officials are out to kill me,” Yerima exclaimed.According to Yerima, Antia is critically ill now and is at the risk of having his legs amputated due to the torture.
CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, denied the victims were tortured. He insisted that torture has never been used as an instrument of investigation in the police “any officer who gets involved risks severe sanctions under the law and regulations, it remains unlawful,” his text message reads.
In reaction, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren who claimed his unaware of the case also denied the commission would detain Yerima and Anita beyond the stipulated time.