. Police extorted us, seized his corpse, wanted to bury him in mass grave – Brother
. He was fending for us, his siblings with his meagre earnings, says mum, 80
As the #EndSARS protests against police brutality spread to many cities across the country, a 95-year-old man, Eni Idum and his octogenarian wife, Alice, have demanded justice over the alleged killing of their first son, Francis Eni Idum, by a Special Anti-Robbery Squad officer in the Ilupeju area of Lagos State over a year ago.
The victim, Francis, a 39-year-old hunchback, was allegedly killed in the early hours of July 15, 2019 by an officer of SARS in Lagos, Akeem Mohammed, who is popularly called Scoda.
According to eyewitnesses, who spoke with 1stnewsonline.com while pleading anonymity for fear of reprisals, “Scoda shot Francis in the head while running after some suspected hoodlums that the police were chasing on Ajisegiri Street, Ilupeju, Lagos.”
The incident led to calls for justice by friends and family, but the police later allegedly covered up the extra-judicial killing of the disabled victim, a development many attributed to the poor financial standing of the Idum family.
But with the intensification of the #EndSARS protests across the country, Francis’ nonagenarian father, who is suffering from stroke, and his octogenarian mother, have again found their voice, calling on the Lagos State Government to ensure justice for their son murdered in cold blood by the Lagos SARS operative, Scoda.
The distraught nonagenarian father of the victim, who spoke with 1stnewsonline.com, said, “Despite Francis’ condition and the menial cleaning job he was engaged in in Lagos, he was sending us money to feed monthly before he was killed.
“As you can see my condition, I had been suffering from stroke two years before he was killed. He was sending me money to eat, as I am just waiting for death. But sadly, SARS killed and sent him to the grave ahead of me.
“Francis, with his disabled condition, was the one that took his siblings to Lagos to cater for them, since we have no financial power. But these people (SARS) threw our family in sorrow; sorrow will not also depart from their own homes, too.”
Francis’ octogenarian mother, who sobbed as she spoke with 1stnewsonline.com, said, “Francis didn’t see his condition as a challenge. He was taking good care of me and my sick husband. We were proud of him, despite his situation until SARS killed him and threw us in sorrow.”
The victim’s aged parents, however, passionately appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to help them to get justice over their son’s alleged killing by the SARS officer.
Younger brother of the victim, Sunday Idum, said government and the police authorities deliberately neglected the family despite all their efforts to get justice.
He said, “Government, police, and others deliberately neglected us because we are poor. After SARS officer, Scoda, killed my brother, they took his corpse away and kept it away from us with the plan that they would throw it away in order to bury the case. It took series of efforts to locate his corpse among the corpses prepared for mass burial.
“After this, some of their officers at Panti, Yaba, started extorting us, saying they would investigate the case. After three months that we had been on the case, we had to resolve to collect the corpse for burial in our village. And since then, nobody from the state government or the police ever said a word about my brother’s killing. But I know if he was a son of a politician, they would have given the case urgent attention.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu on Monday swore in members of the judicial panel of inquiry and restitution established to investigate cases of human rights abuses by operatives of the disbanded SARS in the state.
The panel under the chairmanship of retired Justice Doris Okuwobi has already begun sitting.
When 1stnewsonline.com contacted the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Muyiwa Adejobi, for comments, he explained that he was not the police spokesman when the incident occurred.
Adejobi, however, asked our correspondent to forward the details of the incident to him to enable him to find out the current state of the case, promising to get back to us later.
But as of the time of filing this report, the PPRO had yet to send us his reaction.