SARS officer dismissed over extra-judicial killing sentenced to death.


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A dismissed SARS officer, Joseph Omotosho has been sentenced to death by the High Court in Benin City, Edo Sate, on Friday, sentenced for conspiring with four other constables, who are at large, to kill a car dealer in 2015.

Benson Obodeh, the slain car dealer, was suspected by the police to belong to a criminal gang.

Mr Omotosho, who was dismissed from the Nigerian police after the incident, served with the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit notorious for its brutality and other forms of human rights abuses.

The four other dismissed constables who are now said to be at large were also convicted but not sentenced because they were not present in the court.

The other convicted officers are Adeleke Adedeji, Abena John, Oniyo Musa, and Henry Shobowole.

They escaped while on trial from one of the Medium Security Correctional Centres in Benin City during the October, 2020 jailbreaks.

The judge, Ohimai Ovbiagele, found all the accused persons guilty on an eight-count charge, which included conspiracy to steal and murder.

From the court proceedings, the slain Mr Obodeh, 26, a Benin-based car dealer, was listed as a member of a criminal gang who allegedly stole a Peugeot car in Lagos.

He was said to have been arrested at his home in Benin City on May 21, 2015 and tortured to death the same day by the five police officers.

His corpse was dumped at the Specialist Hospital in Benin City, with a different name by one of the officers that killed him.

Mr Obodeh’s family wrote a petition to the inspector-general of police where they demanded an investigation, after searching for several weeks without finding him.

The police, it was learnt, tried at several times to frustrate the family from discovering details of the murder, but for the intervention of Solomon Arase, who was the inspector-general of police at the time.

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