A petty trader, Regina Stanley, who also happens to be a widow, has dragged the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) before the Federal High Court in Lagos for abducting and illegally detaining her son whom she had sent on an errand since March 28 2020.
She also accused SARS operatives of demanding N500, 000 for the release of her son, Sunday Stanley, which she did not have.
She told the court that she sent her son on an errand in the Morogbo area of Lagos State when she was informed by her fellow traders that he had been abducted and locked up in Black Maria van by SARS operatives raiding the area.
In an affidavit attached to a fundamental rights suit, seeking an order for the release of her son, Regina said;
“I went to my place of trade together with my son who assists me in my trade. At about 11.30am, I sent my son on an errand only to be informed by my fellow traders that my son had been arrested and locked up inside the Black Maria by armed agents of the 3rd respondent.
“I hurriedly closed my trade and went to the place where my son and other persons had been arrested and locked up. Every effort made by me to secure the release of my son proved abortive.
“My son, together with other persons, was driven to SARS office at Ikeja police command. Agents of the respondents levied all sorts of trumped-up allegations against my son and told me to bring N500,000 to secure his release. Because of my inability to get the money my son has been detained since the 28th of March, 2020 till date. He is my only child and my husband has passed away since 2019.”
The lawyer of the widow, Olukoya Ogungbeje filed a suit in the name of the detained Sunday Stanley and urged the court to declare his arrest as unlawful, oppressive and a violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty and fair hearing provided for under sections 33, 35, 36 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also prayed the court to order the immediate release of the Widow’s son as well as order the Nigerian Police to issue a public apology in a national newspaper.
He also prayed the court to order an award of N50m in damages to the plaintiff for his unlawful arrest, detention and humiliation by SARS.