27-year-old Felicia Nkemakolam Okpara narrated her ordeal after she was seen in a video that went viral being dragged into Barracks Police Station during #EndSARS protest.
Okpara testified against the police saying she was brutalized by officers simply for recording the violence that took place during one of the protests in the Surulere area of Lagos State.
She narrated her ordeal before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Related Abuses and other Matters.
Led by her lawyer, Ridwan Oke, the 27-year-old lady testified that she was forced to remove her bra publicly in the police station, and an officer kept “flogging” her with his gun until she was rescued by Desmond Elliot, the lawmaker representing Surulere 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The petitioner, who said she is an orphan, told the panel that she had gone for a job interview on October 12 and was asked to effect some corrections on her CV.
She searched in vain for a cyber cafe and was on her way home when she ran into the #ENDSARS protesters and decided to join.
When policemen started shooting and everyone ran for safety, she decided to make a video of the chaos. It was while she was making the video that the policemen from Ojuelegba Police Station descended on her.
“After taking off my bra, one policeman went inside and brought a broken mop stick and used it on a man that was also arrested.
“After beating him, he went out and came back with the same anger and started hitting me with the nozzle of a gun.
“I was scared that he could pull the trigger. I think he realised what he was doing and then stopped and started using the gun butt to beat me.”
Okpara said the police officer refused to allow her make a call to anybody. And they took her money, damaged her phone and threatened to detain her at Panti, Kirikiri and Abuja.
She said when another police officer came to take her statement, she discovered that he was an Igbo man, so she spoke Igbo to him to see if he could be of help, but he asked her to calm down.
“They took us upstairs and brought us back. That was where I saw Desmond Elliot. There were so many lawyers around.
”My head was bruised, my face was bruised. I saw some lawyers and Desmond Elliot. I saw someone from the government.
“Later, Desmond said where are the two ladies whose video was trending on social media? That was when I knew he came for me.”
The mother of one said that after she was released, Desmond Elliot gave her N6000 to go home around 10pm, but there was no cab.
“I was smelling, in fact stinking. I was traumatized. There was no vehicle, no cab,” she lamented.
Okpara said she was nearly raped when she approached a man to help him get transport to Ikorodu. Upon seeing her condition, the man invited her to come and sleep inside the bus with him.
She said she later slept in a hotel in the area that night and went for medication when she got to Ikorodu the next day.
Justice Doris Okuwobi admitted in evidence the photographs of her bruised body and face, medical report and damaged phone. She adjourned the matter till December 4 for continuation of hearing.
KanyiDaily had reported how Desmond Elliot has secured the release of five arrested #EndSARS protesters who were detained by the Police in Surulere.