Susan Emem remembers the time she encountered Nigeria’s feared Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) one year ago.
She and seven other friends were heading home after a night out in Enugu, in southeast Nigeria.
“We were coming from Extreme Lounge, a bar,” she said.
“They dragged us out of the taxi we were in and said they were going to charge us for being dressed liked prostitutes. They shot into the air several times to scare us and shut us up as we tried to argue.”
Susan related the incident in a voice tinged with anger.
“My friend, the only man among us, tried to reason with one of the officers but the officer hit him hard with the end of his gun. This was when we realised that things had gone out of hand,”
Susan and her friends were flung into the back of a van by four SARS operatives and taken to a police station at New Haven where they were eventually thrown into a cell.
“The SARS officers took our phones and personal belongings,”
“They said if we did not cooperate they’d kill us and no one would find out.
“I needed to pee at some point, so one of the officers took me to a corner and watched me pull my clothes to pee. I felt violated and when I voiced this, he shouted at me, claiming that he had ‘seen worse’.”
She said the officers demanded for N80,000 for their release initially but later settled for N40,000
“They let us go the following day. We were treated like we were animals, I felt so dehumanised.”
Source: Coal City News
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