EndSARS Protest: How Police brutality terminated my NYSC experience… C’River Dep. Gov.’s aide narrates terrible ordeal

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Thursday 20th October 2022 marked the second anniversary of the 20th October 2020 protest against a Nigerian police unit brutality, extortion, torture and abuse. 

The second anniversary memorial was a topical issues for discussion amongst Nigerians especially on social media. In Calabar the Cross River capital metropolis, a Personal Assistant, PA to the Deputy Governor of the state, Kingsley Orok made a narration of his 2018 experience with the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.

According to PA Orok, ‘I have twice been a victim of police brutality and extortion’. The PA finally stated that Nigerian Police brutality terminated his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC experience. He narrated his account like this:

‘In August 2018, the University of Calabar had mobilised me for the compulsory National Youth Service Scheme and my orientation camp was in Abuja. The University, after clearing us and forwarding our names to the board, failed on her part to make ready our certificates on time. So, considering that tendering your original certificates at the camp gate is one of the requirements to gain entrance, I personally couldn’t take off to the camp without mine. This delayed me in Calabar until the last day to camp closure before I was eventually issued my certificate.

‘I also considered that going by land breathed lots of uncertainty on my ability to make it early enough to Abuja, I resorted to reaching out for more financial help in addition to what I earlier got from my father, His Excellency, Prof Ivara Ejemot Esu.

Amongst the people I reached out to, Onun Dr. Emil Inyang and Helen Isamoh, Ph.D were the only ones who cared enough to support me with N30,000 & N20,000 respectively. I am still grateful my Leaders. Who knows, it could be out of that singular show of support I got from Onun Emil Inyang that I am today, neck bend in supporting his current House of Representatives ambition.

‘Now, after I received my B.Ed certificate for which I made a second class lower and got sufficient funds to fly with reasonable balance in my pocket, I met another brick wall at the airport. Flights were fully booked for that day. So I resorted back to land transportation and Calculux was my preferred transport company. By this time, I was thoroughly exhausted and began to experience a severe head ache & body pains. This caused me to dash to the nearest drug store and bought some pain relief drugs. Took a dose, and slid the rest into my travel box.

‘The trip progressed well because some of my co-travelers were also on the same mission as me. One of which was a very pretty girl whom I had already started promising the whole world. One will wonder which world Adah Kingsley Orok would have owned today.

‘It was at a checkpoint along Kogi State that we were all asked to come down for a search to be conducted. We did because the process also provided us time to ease ourselves and stretch our joints. As though the search had ended and we were already taking our seats in the vehicle. Suddenly, I saw a stern look from one of the police officers, He then asked me why I look so fresh and healthy! It was amusing so I chuckled. I told him ‘na God’ almost absent mindedly.

‘There and then, they asked me to come down with my luggage for a proper search. In the cause of the search, they saw money and also saw the remains of the tablets I had bought earlier in Calabar for the pains I felt. That was how I was taken out of the Calculux vehicle and into their van and driven off to where I didn’t know. They said I had hard drugs in my possession.

‘To my greatest surprise, they started showing me drugs I was sure I didn’t buy. Some, in powder forms. They forced me to call my father. I cried and told them my father had died since 2011 in a car accident that has also left my living mother in pains till date. They asked that I give them N200,000 before they can free me. So I called my trusted Cousin, Jesse Unoh who is a lawyer and was expecting me in Abuja for them to speak with. Jesse said all he could on the phone, but their minds were stone strong. My cries, plea and explanation that I just graduated from the University and was heading to the NYSC camp meant nothing to them.

‘They beat me up, threatened me and took N150,000 from my bag and handed me to a bike man to bring me back to the road. At the road, the pretty lady I just became friends with, didn’t let the driver leave me behind. She caused all of them to wait. She shedded a tear for me. Sadly, I have lost contacts with her. Wherever she is, I wish her good fortunes.

‘I couldn’t make it fit enough to the camp and this incident ruined my stay in camp. I applied to be redeployed back to Cross River State on health grounds and that ended my NYSC experience.’