Hotelier recounts torture at SARS detention camp, says ‘They tied a rope around my neck’

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Bonaventure Mokweh, a hotelier, has narrated his torture experience at a detention facility of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS), Awkuzu, Anambra state.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mokweh accused James Nwafor, former commander of the Awkuzu SARS squad of leading his men to arrest and torture him and his staff.

The hotelier also detailed how young men, who were arrested and kept in detention, were “murdered by the SARS operatives”.

“My coming in contact with the outfit started on August 1st 2013, when my Upper class hotel was demolished. On the very date, I drove into my hotel from my residence at around 7.30 in the morning. Minutes after that, a truckload of Police men arrived and surrounded my hotel,” Mokweh said.

“It took sometime before some of the police officers walked into my office with Dr Justin Nwankwo. My other hotel staff had already been beaten to a pulp. I introduced myself and they said that they wanted to search the hotel premises and I said no problem.

“Before I could finish, they broke the door and entered the room. We saw black polyethylene bags (waterproof) all over the room with an open suitcase. The officers then opened the wardrobe and brought out a bag. Inside the bag was two human skulls with sand all over them and two rusted and unserviceable AK47 guns.

“I was promptly leg chained on both legs and Dr Justin Nwankwo was handcuffed. I was taken to the outside corridor of the hotel and made to kneel down while holding the exhibits and they took pictures. At that point, from the faces I saw amongst the crowd with axes and matchet , I then knew where the whole incident came from, hazard of land business along with motor park duel.

“When we got to the present ROAD SAFETY office along the Enugu/Onitsha, before you get to Awkuzu Sars, James Nwafor turned around and said to me. You will never see that hotel again. He will kill me whether I am innocent or not and that, if I am innocent, may my blood be on him and his children.”

Mokweh said he witnessed an incident when a young apprentice, who was arrested by SARS operatives, broke his spinal cord and died.

“When we then entered Awkuzu proper, Dr Justin Nwankwo was kept in their torture hall while I was taken behind the torture hall where James Nwafor mostly does his killing. Behind the very torture hall , I was chained to a local weight lifting device. After some period James Nwafor came back with some officers along with one other officer I later discovered to be his deputy by name Csp Sunday Okpe,” he said.

“My torture commenced immediately. I was overpowered and my shirt was removed. They then wrapped my neck with the shirt and then followed it will a green rope and they started pulling from both ends. Gentlemen I was gone. They then appended my thumbprint on the prepared statement that substantiated the allegations against me. Meanwhile Dr Justin Nwankwo was seeing hell in the torture hall.

“When I eventually regained consciousness, I found myself in their death chamber called cell 5. It is the cell that is reserved for those James Nwafor will kill. Congested and extremely dirty. Food is not allowed in the very Cell unless periodic loafs of bread which is shared in slices. One bucket of water every day for drinking.”

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