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70-yr-old man narrates how he became blind in SARS custody

Constance Obinagwam

A 70-year-old man, Bassey Ekendem have told a Lagos State High Court, how he became blind in SARS custody.

Bassey who is under going a trial of allegedly defiling a five year old girl, at Special offence Court, Ikeja, before Justice S. O. Nwaka told the court that he was not blind before, that he became blind as a result of the beatings he got in SARS custody.

”Na beat they beat me na yim make I go blind. Na for SARS they blind my eyes. I bin dey see before. I am a painter. I manage to pay my child’s school fees with the I get from painting.” he stated while being asked of his eyes confront by the judge.

Upon hearing this, the judge asked him if he has a family, he said no.

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“My lord, I am stranded. I don’t have a family. Some one was coming to see at the police station but when they moved me to SARS office, I didn’t see her again.

“I am a painter, my children are learning work in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. I was managing to pay my last child’s school fees with my painting before this incident. Now, I am stranded. I am blind. I don’t have anyone, I don’t have a place to go to. I was staying with a brother, Bassey Okon at Ijesha.. He cried.

Asking further, the judge said: “Baba, do you have a lawyer? He said no. Wetin. Baba, they said you chuck your finger into a five year old girl and you are blind. Wetin you they find go there?”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge that was read to him by the judge, saying” My lord, they lied against me. I am 70 years old. Wetin I go dey find for small girl body. Na lie dey lie against me.”

In absence of no witness, the judge told the prosecution counsel that if she didn’t get a witness in the next adjournment, he will ask the defendant to go home.

“My prayer is that our latter days be better. ” the judge prayed.

The case was adjourned to 24th, April, 2020.