When SARS men bit more than they could chew in Rivers

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Nonso Akuka, a young man of post-teenage age, sent insulting text messages to his mummy’s sister (aunt) in the midst of a mild intra-family beef; the next thing he saw was men of the dreaded but highly despised Anti-Robbery Special Squad (SARS) who whisked him off to their Port Harcourt operational base where he passed through unprintable hell. He left the next two days with broken legs. He is still recuperating in a village in a bone-setter’s home. He has nobody to cry out to for help, even as his aunt is said to be flaunting her ability to have contacts with SARS.

This is why the fear of SARS in Rivers State seems to be the beginning of wisdom. With such awareness of the powers of life and death, the SARS men who sometimes operate in unmarked buses and dish out hell to ‘suspects’ in domestic matters took on a boy whose mother fries ‘akara’ (bean cake) in a neighbourhood. Kofi Bartels, a popular On-Air-Personality (OAP) with Nig Info FM Station in Port Harcourt was passing and felt for the poor lad who was allegedly screaming his innocence along with his mother. The lad was being violently forced into a bus by the SARS men. Such victims hardly make it back, and Bartels knew this much.

The popular radio personality and compère tried to intervene but thought better, and pulled out his camera to capture the moment the lad was being stuffed into a waiting unmarked bus. This was how he bought trouble on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. According his outcry, the SARS men descended on him with merciless kicking and smashing. When they realised who he was, the matter grew worse; “Oh, those journalists who always condemn SARS on radio every day?”

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