Dismissed SARS officers indicted for abuse of office
Four former Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, officers were, yesterday, arraigned before an Ikeja High Court on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and abuse of office.
The former SARS officers, Sgt. Adeoye Adekunle, Sgt. Adeniran Adebowale, Sgt. Agbi Lucky and Sgt. Odighe Hehosa, were dismissed in July 2018 following a petition against them by one Mr. Chukwudi Odionye, popularly referred to as ‘Bishop.’
Bishop had in his petition, alleged that sometimes in June 4, 2017, he was in his house around Alagbado area of Lagos State, when four armed men whom he later found out to be SARS officers, stormed his house to effect his arrest on the allegation of performing ‘fake’ miracles.
He stated that after his arrest, he was taken to one hotel at Agege, where he was detained and threatened to be killed, if he fails to cooperate. The petitioner further explained that the following day, June 5, 2017, he was taken to the bank where he was made to transfer N7 million to the account of one of the operatives.
The accused officers pleaded not guilty and were dismissed after an orderly room trial. They were subsequently charged before a magistrate’s court for armed robbery, kidnapping, unlawful detention, and intimidation, as well as threatening violence.
At the state high court, the four officers were charged for conspiracy, corruption by a public officer and abuse of office by a public officer. The four defendants had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At yesterday’s proceedings, counsel to the former SARS officer, A.O. Aguegebobo, informed the court of a bail application he had filed before the court on behalf of his clients. According to Aguegebobo, the defendants’ offence is bailable. He also added that investigation on the matter had been concluded by the police. The counsel also informed the court that the defendants have been in prison custody since July 18, 2018.
The prosecuting counsel, Adeola Odumabo, however, did not oppose to the bail application. Ruling on the defendant’s bail application, the Presiding Judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
The matter was, thereafter, adjourned till October 15, 2019 for trial.