By Amos Aar
MARK Tersoo, a 38-year-old movie actor and producer, who lives with his wife, one biological child and four adopted children in a one-bedroom apartment in Gboko, has accused operatives of the Gboko Command of Benue State Livestock Guard of unlawfully detaining, torturing to near death and extorting money from him when they arrested him following a report by one Amos Tyough over a 900-thousand-naira debt.
Mr Tersoo, popularly known and addressed by his various stage names such as Bokwaghfan, Mimi Tar Taver, Oga Joe and Tar Ka Kulekule, made the allegation in an interview with National Record recently in Gboko, Benue State in North-Central Nigeria after it got a tipoff of the brutality by operatives of the Livestock Guard. The outfit was established by the Governor Samuel Ortom leadership following the passage and signing into law of the “Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017”, popularly known as ‘Anti-Open Grazing Law’.
Debt collection, National Record can authoritatively confirm, is not part of the statutory roles of the Benue State Livestock Guard. Its role is essentially the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law throughout the state empowered to arrest and prosecute offenders and detain their livestock until fines are paid.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the Gboko Command of Livestock Guards between 15th-16th June, 2022 in the interview, Tersoo stated that the operatives of the livestock guard first called and asked him to report at their Ugba Command. He said he was at that point at Ugba Police Station where he had gone to market his products. He said upon voluntarily reporting at the Ugba Command, he was then told that they were directed by the Gboko Command to arrest and convey him to Gboko.
“They seized all my belongings including my handset and over N15,000 that I had on me which I raised in less than two hours that I entered into the market,” Tersoo alleged, stating that he was conveyed from Ugba to Gboko on Motorcycle. He also alleged that when arrested, the livestock guards did not allow him to contact anybody, including his wife even after he pleaded with them.
“They conveyed me to Gboko on motorcycle and we arrived at about 7pm. I appealed to them to allow me to communicate with my wife on phone because she was calling me and I wanted to tell her what was going on but they refused that I will not speak with her until the next day,” Mark alleged.
While Amos Tyough, in a telephone interview with National Record, admitted reporting Mark Tersoo to both Jemgbagh Youths Association and Livestock Guard’ Command in Gboko over the 900-thousand-naira debt, he denied asking them to beat him. He however confirmed the beating.
“I didn’t say they should beat him but I went out and when I came back, I met them beating him. Our treasurer and Secretary came there and they said that what this guy did was bad. Later, he ganged up with those his 419 and came with police that I wanted to kill him,” Tyough told this reporter.
The Zone B Police Division, Gboko where Tersoo lodged the complaint of torture confirmed receiving the report against operatives of livestock guard. The Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Stella Okpe, while confirming the case in a phone conversation with this reporter stated: “He (Tersoo) truly reported the case and since then I have been calling him but he didn’t respond to my call, I have been waiting for him to come but I have not seen him since the day they took him to the hospital.
“I don’t know the reason why he has not been coming to my office. We wrote to the Livestock Guard’s office for them to produce the person that reported to them. The Livestock Guards are running away from their office, so I called to ask him [Tersoo] to come so that he will give us the address of the said Amos [Tyough] that reported him there [to the livestock guards]; he was not responding to anything that I tried to do. I was saying that if he comes, we can even write to the Livestock Guards head office in Makurdi because I don’t know their real address. Without the complainant, we cannot handle such a thing, he has to come.”
But Mark said he has not been going to the police station sometimes because of many involvements he has, like some contributions that he is still doing. He also expressed worry that the police have been asking him to produce the accused, Amos Tyough, and wondered why he should be the one to do the job! “I went to the police but they told me that Amos Tyough did not report, he only called that he was coming but he didn’t come. If they arrest him, let them call me to go there. Nevertheless, I will still go to the station tomorrow,” Tersoo explained.
When contacted, the commander of Livestock Guard’s Command in Gboko, Stephen Shaahu, first denied, then confirmed knowledge of the allegation. When this reporter initially contacted him, he totally denied knowing either the movie actor or creditor, Tersoo or Amos, respectively. He however later called this reporter acknowledging that his men entertained the matter.
However, by Friday, July 8, 2022, when National Record contacted Mr Shaahu via telephone to ascertain the specific allegation of detaining and beating Tersoo, he again denied. “Somebody called me the other time with respect to something like that and he said he called from Makurdi. That case didn’t come to my office; I did not have such case in my office, may be it is a different person, I wasn’t around.
“Yes, I am the Commander of Livestock Guard in Gboko, and when I came to the office, I was having strangers from the street; one man, I don’t even know his name, he just came to the office with a friend and said that his friend was owing him. I told them let me talk to them [strangers] before I attend to him. In the process, the police came and when the police came, they said they reported the case to their police station that I should hand over everything to them. So I don’t have any single idea about that case,” the Livestock Commander told the Editor-in-Chief of National Record when he called and asked him to respond to the specific allegation of detention and torture of Tersoo.
Two persons who claimed to have witnessed the incident separately confirmed to National Record the alleged molestation of the actor. The two eyewitnesses, Saaondo Luga and Aondongo Kohol, in phone interviews with this reporter corroborated Tersoo’s allegations of torture. “I even have the pictures in my phone,” Luga said; while Kohol stated: “I was there myself and I am ready to bear witness in court.”
National Record also obtained the medical report from following the treatment of Tersoo at the General Hospital, Gboko, where the police had taken him to when he reported at the B Division.
The medical report, entitled: “To whom it May Concern: Re-Yiye, Mark Tersoo, Male, 38yr 36-58-31” and signed by Dr Agbadu J. I., noted that there were visible marks of severe beating on Tersoo’s body. “The above named patient presented to us today with complaint of Right Breast Pain, and body swelling following beating by members of Livestock Guard, yesterday at Adekaa.
“On examination, we found a young man not febrile, not pale, nil pedal edema and nil lymphademopathy.
“Museulo-skeletal examination revealed whip marks which were erythemalous with multiple bruising on the back and buttocks.
“The Right breast was tender with differential warmth.
“We therefore made diagnosis of assault with multiple bruise.
“You may wish to accord him any assistance in this regard.”
The root of the ordeal
Explaining in detail the genesis of the problem, Tersoo, who acknowledged his indebtedness to Amos Tyough, revealed that he returned to Benue from Abuja strictly on the business of marketing his films which he acted in Tiv language which could only sell in the Tiv-speaking areas of the state because they were acted in Tiv language. He however said due to insecurity in Benue communities, in addition to economic hardship, it had become difficult for him to access the rural areas and where accessed, the patronage was abysmal due to the general economic down turn in the state.
“I acted that film titled, Botwev, and many other films. That’s what brought me back to Benue State because I act my films in Tiv language and so I can’t market it well in other states. If not, I attended my primary and secondary schools in Abuja; it’s only university education that I acquired at the Benue State University, Makurdi. But insecurity in Benue communities made it difficult for me to access those rural areas where I used to sell. Even when we went out, people no longer patronise us because of dwindling economy,” Mark told National Record.
According to him, because of the challenge he had in marketing his movies, he had to also go into POS business, which he said he pioneered in Gboko, and later added a daily savings scheme he called daily contribution, which he said boomed as he got many clients.
“I started Point-of-Sales (POS) business and I was one of the first people who ventured into that business in Gboko. In fact, I was the only person doing POS business from First Bank to Gboko Main Market and I enjoyed a lot of patronage because I was popular for the films I acted. I later introduced daily contribution and each day when members contributed money, it was given to one member and it was done turn-by-turn. When Covid-19 struck, I became afraid of moving around, so I gathered everything together, the contribution became a big one and some members suggested that they would be contributing one thousand naira daily without withdrawal until the end of every month so that they would withdraw and do a monthly contribution of fifty thousand naira with me. So I started the N50,000-contribution, and I later also initiated a second group of N50,000,” Tersoo said.
He said he got to know Amos Tyough from his POS business when he came one day to pay his children’s school fees and that subsequently he introduced him to his contribution business, which he (Tyough) joined. “He registered and started sending N50,000, and by then I had ten members who contributed a total of N500,000 every month. I also introduced him to another meeting of N50,000 that I organised and he joined.
“After he started saving, he told me that he was afraid of all those contributions because people duped him in the past. But I told him that I was not that kind of person and anytime he came to Abuja, he visited my office and saw how people were saving with me, then he became convinced and continued to save with me. He saw how I saved money for somebody who withdrew it and bought a car that was worth almost N5.5 million and he saw everything,” Tersoo revealed.
The business however ran into crisis. According to Tersoo, his business problem started because the girls who were handling the POS business “started stealing my money.” He said: “I had four locations and I was the manager. Banks started giving me loans and before I knew, the girls who were handling my POS business started stealing my money.
“One of my colleagues in a film I acted complained that he did not understand the way those girls were operating but I had too much work on my hands. Sometimes I would give them money but they would deny that I gave them. Some of them even ran away and because of all those things, my business fell…
“I was owing individuals and banks about six million naira. Online borrowing apps were charging me N35,000 interest on N1 million every month. So when things became tough for me, I explained the situation to him [Amos Tyough] because we became friends and he used to visit my house frequently. Amos Tyough [had] decided that he would be the last person to collect money for the two contributions, so I appealed to him that since he was to be the last person to withdraw his money, he should bear with me so that I would settle others and he consented.
“I applied for a three-million-naira loan from Zenith Bank to enable me settle members of my contribution and they agreed but they declined to give me eventually. The other meeting that I was doing finished its first round and when it was restarted, I appealed to the Exco to allow me use that money to settle Amos but they didn’t give me. At this time, Amos’ money remained eight hundred and fifteen thousand naira (N815,000) only, after all deductions were made from his contributions as charges. He started saving with me in 2020 but the end of contributions was at the end of 2021.”
Tersoo said when his business eventually collapsed, he resorted to hawking items like wristwatches, perfumes and movies in markets despite rising insecurity in the state so as to settle members of his contributions. “Bandits were killing people inside markets sometimes. But I took the risk trying to repay Amos his money and I explained everything to him. My wife was also hawking to help pay the money. I failed to give him money on the date I promised to give him and I explained everything to him but he insisted that he had some challenges. So I suggested that I would give him N300,000 first but he refused. At a point I even got up to N500,000 and I wanted to give him but he insisted that I must give him [the] complete [amount].”
Tyough takes case to Jemgbagh Youths Association
In his effort to get paid, Tyough reported the matter to Jemgbagh Youths Association. Tersoo told National Record that at the Jemgbagh Youths Association’s office, a businessman who is his friend stood for him as guarantor and assured that he would pay the money the following Monday if he (Mark) failed to do so.
“He (the guarantor) told them that he was in a journey but would come back and settle the matter. The Jemgbagh Youth office told Mr Tyough to be patient till Monday that since my friend had taken over the case and was a member of Jemgbagh Youths Association, there would be no cause for alarm because if he didn’t fulfil his promise, they could even sell one of his cars to settle the money; they even phoned him (guarantor) and told him their decision, and he consented,” Tersoo stated.
He said despite this, Tyough went ahead to report to the livestock guards claiming that he was told by somebody that Tersoo had bribed Jemgbagh Youths and therefore the reason why they failed to retrieve the money. Tersoo also alleged that Tyough quickly took the matter to the livestock guards because “his brothers were working there, in addition to knowing many people there.”
The alleged torture
According to Tersoo, when he was arrested by the livestock guards, he was interrogated for a long time and he narrated everything that had transpired between him and Tyough. He said when Tyough eventually arrived at the Livestock Guard’s Command, they (livestock guards) neither asked him (Tyough) any question nor further interrogated him (Tersoo).
He alleged that his ordeal in the hands of the livestock guards began when the guards detained him in a toilet riddled with faeces and mosquitoes for hours. “They went and detained me in a toilet at about 7pm where there were faeces and a lot of mosquitoes. The only place where there was a little ventilation was through a small window where they fixed irons. I didn’t know any other thing to do than to pray,” Tersoo alleged.
He said when he was brought out from the toilet, the livestock guards began another round of interrogation asking him to tell them the truth. “They asked me to tell them the truth and I told them everything that Amos was actually saving money with me but my business collapsed and I wanted to repay him in instalments but he insisted that the money should be refunded all at once when I was having a lot of challenges. The livestock guards said I should bring the money and I appealed to them to be patient until Monday but they said they didn’t want to hear any other thing apart from bringing the money.
“Early in the morning the next day, Amos came to the command and the guards said they wanted to go and arrest somebody, so they went and detained me in the toilet again. I said, I beg you my brothers, I have not stolen, you are going for arrest and you may return as late as 4pm while I have not eaten anything since morning, no communication with my people, I’m just here! Is that how to do things? But they said no problem, they would come back. So they left for the arrest before 8am and they came back at about 1pm and they opened the toilet,” Tersoo narrated, adding that he at that point became very much scared because Tyough had threatened to kill him while they were at the Jemgbagh Youths’ office.
“The whole thing was like kidnapping. They didn’t allow me to talk to anybody. I became afraid because before we went to Jemgbagh Youths, Amos told me that if I didn’t pay him his money, he would kill me. He threatened that he would give guys money to ‘delete’ me. He said he even preferred that the money should go but that he would kill me. His friend advised him that he was taking the matter too far. My friends heard all those discussions.
“I was very much afraid at the livestock guards’ office owing to the memory of the past threat by Amos to kill me and because of what the livestock guards were doing to me. Amos was not happy that I was not yet beaten and so he was telling them things that would provoke them to beat me by all means. He told them that I had sold my family house which was not true because I have elder brothers and my step mother is staying in our family house.”
On the second day of his detention by the livestock guards, Tersoo said he was able to communicate with his wife but however hid from her the fact that he was being detained in order not to traumatise her as she was then recovering from pregnancy miscarriage.
He also alleged that when Stephen Shaahu, the commander of the Gboko Command of Livestock Guards, asked him if he was owing Amos and he said yes, he ordered him to produce the money right there. “I explained the situation to him [commander] and he asked me whether I had a lawyer and I said no but that I was running my company together with another person, my Director, who has a lawyer. Then the leader [commander] asked me the name of that lawyer and he started recommending some lawyers that he would call for me but I refused. I have never been arrested by the police in my life…
“The leader started subjecting me to different kinds of torture… While I was doing frog jump, small boys were beating me with canes on my back. They ordered me to jump fence, maybe they wanted me to jump the fence so that they will declare me a thief. They also ordered me to do acrobatics and while I was doing it, they were beating me from all directions; on the head, chest, stomach and everywhere. Amos got up from where he was seated and said he would deal with me now, then he started matching me with his shoes. Ten people were beating me at the same time, I almost went into coma, it was only God that kept me alive.
“When the beating was becoming unbearable for me, I started crying loudly and holding Amos Tyough’s leg, begging him to intervene but he pushed me away. They ordered me to climb a tree, some of them said I should be stabbed with a knife at the back. Then they said I should call my people to bring the money. At that time, they returned my phone to me. I called my friend who guaranteed me at Jemgbagh Youths’ office and he told them that he was on a trip and would bring the money as soon as he would return to Gboko. The livestock guards’ leader asked my guarantor on phone which police station he should take me to after beating me.
“He asked that question just to scare my friend because he wanted my guarantor to know that when somebody is detained, he has to be bailed with money. He was talking and flashing his members’ eyes, the man was just behaving like a mad man! I continued to call people to come to my aid. So I called one of my colleagues who acts movies with me, Saaondo Luga, and I told the livestock guards’ leader who was beating me that the person that was coming was my movie director and when he arrived, I discovered that both the livestock guards’ leader and Mr Saaondo Luga were classmates in school. Before Luga would utter a word, the leader instructed his boys to give me another 12 strokes of cane,” Tersoo narrated at length.
“Following the Commander’s directives, the boys started giving me the 12 strokes and they were repeatedly on the same spot where there were bruises of their first round of beating. The Commander told me to roll on the ground to go and meet my Director where he was sitting… After my friend, Saaondo Luga, protested that the livestock guards wanted to kill me just as Amos had earlier requested them to do, he stormed outside and brought policemen,” Tersoo said among many other stories of torture he suffered in the hands of the livestock guards.
Police take over case
Tersoo told National Record that when he was taken to the Police B Division, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) immediately stated that debt recovery was not part of the responsibilities of livestock guards, noting that their duty is to handle matters bordering on livestock. He said the DPO, looking at his condition directed “that I should be rushed to General Hospital, Gboko, because I couldn’t stand straight to walk.”
Tyough states side of the story
Tersoo’s creditor, Amos Tyough, speaking to this reporter in a telephone interview narrated his side of the story. He corroborated Tersoo’s claim of first coming in contact with him in the course of school fee’s payment. “I didn’t know this guy (referring to Tersoo). I’m based in Port-Harcourt and my son is in CDM Academy International, Mkar. Before you take your son there, you have to pay school fees in the bank but there is always a long queue at the bank.
“When I went there for the second time, he [Tersoo] introduced me to the contribution but I said I don’t do it because for over 15 years, people used to dupe me. But with his sweet mouth, he convinced me that there will be no problem, giving me 100% assurance.”
Tyough, who said he is into painting and makes his earnings from there, told Tersoo that he doesn’t like trouble and as a result, he preferred taking the last turn in every contribution that he does and that after the assurances, he joined Tersoo’s contribution especially when he said it was a registered company based in Abuja.
He said his contribution for the two years he did with Tersoo was nine hundred thousand and that he (Tersoo only wanted to “chop my money, N900,000 for two years?”
Asked whether he threatened to kill Tersoo as alleged, Tyough said: “I didn’t threaten his life, what I told him was that I will die because of my money. I didn’t tell him anything that I will kill him. How can I kill him? Where did I know him from? Apart from this money issue, I don’t have any dealings with him. He wanted to eat [dupe me of] the money.
“I took him to Jemgbagh youths but he bribed them. He is a criminal as you see him so. We are in the same meeting but I stayed like one year before I took this issue to the officials. The officials handled the issue but he didn’t give them one naira until I brought it out and he told me that he did one contribution in Zaki-Biam and he was to collect N3 million and the bank is going to give him N3 million. I told him that you said I’m your friend, but you collected my money that you cannot pay, you want to kill me so I will die for my money, that’s what I told him.
“Even when I took him to Jemgbagh Youths, I told them not to touch him but they should just try to collect my money. Even when they brought him [to livestock guards], I told him to call his family people to bring my money but he said he did not have family people and from there they started beating him. I didn’t say they should beat him but I went out and when I came back, I met them beating him.
“Our treasurer and secretary came there and they said that what this guy did was bad. Later, he ganged up with those his 419 and came with police that I wanted to kill him. I even bought a car for one of his friends two months ago when he said that he needed it. I took him to one of my brothers that is a car dealer in Kaduna. It was my brother who works with the Livestock Guard Command, Gboko that took me there, I didn’t know the commander.
“They said they do handle those kinds of issues. When they brought him there from evening till around 2am, they said settle this guy, what did the guy do to you? If you get N300,000, why can’t you call this guy and say manage this one? Within three months, he collected my N450,000, within the next two months, he collected another N450,000. The whole money was N900,000 but he now told me that they cut everything and my money remained N815,000. He even threatened that he will take me to court and I said I’m not afraid of that because it’s my right. He would have called me that he didn’t have money and this is what he will be paying me. But he was just trying to dodge me.
“It was along the line that one of our Ogas from Zaki-Biam came and explained everything and I said he should forget everything, if he wanted to eat the money he should eat the money. I came back to Port-Harcourt and continued my hustling. He is a 419 because after that thing, many people came out. The thing is paining me up till now because I know what he has put me into. But for now, let me face it, I know all the measures to take because I know people but I don’t want to, I was following him in peace. When we were discussing, he said he will take me to court on the 7th of this month (that’s July 2022). He doesn’t have money to pay me but he has money to follow case because they are pushing him or what?
“I discovered on time if not, that guy would have duped me more than N2 million. He doesn’t want to pay me my money that’s why he is behaving like that. But let him dare me because I have people, if he wants to do anything, let him go ahead and do it. I don’t know whether he used charm on me that he collected my N900,000! I don’t have any case against him now, I have left everything. But he said he will arrest me, so let him go ahead, let’s know who is who because he is the one owing me,” Tyough narrated.
Inconsistencies in Shaahu’s narrative
In the effort to get the Livestock Guards’ response to the allegation of unlawful detention and torture, this reporter went to the Livestock Guards Command office located at Adekaa, Gboko on 28th June, 2022 at about 11am but the commander, Mr Shaahu, was not in the office. As a result, the reporter, before returning to Makurdi, left a message and his contact details for the commander when efforts to get the commander’s mobile number failed as his men said their phones were down.
At about 6pm that day (28th June, 2022), the commander phoned the reporter and he (reporter) told him of the allegations against him and his men, he answered: “I’m hearing the name Mark Tersoo for the first time and I don’t have the right to even detain a person. I’m not supposed to detain a person first of all. What was his complaint exactly?” he had asked the reporter. When told the details of the allegation, Shaahu said: “Do you know one thing? I don’t recover debt for people, that’s never my job… But let me ask you this final question, did he say that somebody in the person of the Commander of Livestock Guards beat him? Or some people beat him?
“Supposing you say that my people beat him, I would have asked, when did this case come to my office and what happened. But if you say it’s myself, I would have just come to where you are and know what is going on. But if he said it’s my staff, I will inquire because I am not aware of that case. I want to promote my work not to insult people. If you get back to him and he tells you everything, I will know and I’ll enquire from my boys if there was such a case in my office.”
In another conversation with Shaahu on July 1, 2022 after this reporter confirmed from Police B Division at Mkar, Gboko, that the alleged detention and torture happened 15th and 16th June, 2022, and that the commander had then been invited but was yet to honour the invitation; Mr Shaahu, when asked if he got the invitation, had responded: “Yes, they gave me a letter of invitation that I should bring the case review and the complainant. I’m even making efforts to get the person who brought that person…, but right now I am in Buruku local government.”
Following the unclear response of the commander on the allegations, National Record’s Editor-in-Chief had called Mr Shaahu on Friday, July 8, 2022 at about 7pm and the following conversation ensued between them:
National Record (NR): Our reporter sent a story and there is one gap we would like to fill, that’s why I’m calling you. The report says there’s one Mark Tersoo who was arrested and tortured by you and your men at the Gboko Command of the Livestock Guards. In the story, I didn’t see your response with regards to whether it was true or not. So I’m calling to ask whether such a case came before you.”
Shaahu: Well, somebody called me the other time with respect to something like that, that he is a journalist from Makurdi, and that case didn’t come to my office, I did not have such a case in my office, maybe it’s a different person; I wasn’t around… Yes, I am the Commander of Livestock Guards in Gboko. When I came to the office, I was having strangers from the street; one man, I don’t even know his name, he just came to the office with a friend, that a friend is owing him. I said I have visitors, let me talk to them briefly before I would attend to him. In the process, the police came and they said they had reported that case to their station so I should hand over everything to them. So I don’t have any single idea about that case; any single…, he didn’t even ask me what happened; I don’t know the parties; even the person that brought the friend; I don’t know him. Even the friend that they brought, I don’t know him. Even by now if I see him I will not know him.
If you like, call B Police Division in Gboko, ask them, they will tell you everything. They invited me and I went there and told them everything. I didn’t even interview anybody concerning that.
NR: What about your men?
Shaahu: No, there is no way a case will come to that office and they will judge without me. Maybe it’s Jemgbagh [Youths], because that person told me that man took the man to Jemgbagh Youths, but that Jemgbagh Youths were not treating him so he said he will bring him to my office. When he came, I did not interview him, I should be frank with you.
NR: But Mark Tersoo said you, particularly, slapped somebody…
Shaahu: Who is Mark Tersoo? Is he a police man? That I slapped a person?
NR: Mark Tersoo is a Tiv movie actor. He said you slapped his [movie] director.
Shaahu: No, that Mark Tersoo you are saying, he doesn’t even know me self, he doesn’t even know me. I have never, ever slapped any person in my office, I don’t have time. In the first place, I don’t recover debts for people, it’s the police that recover debts for people; I don’t prosecute. I don’t recover debts so how will you bring a case of debt to my office? They are not telling you the true story.
NR: Why will the police invite you then if you have no relationship with the case?
Shaahu: They went and laid false allegation against me and I went and cleared myself. I went and cleared myself with the police.
NR: Okay, you have cleared yourself with the police?
Shaahu: I went to the police and told them every secret, I said that they should bring the person that took the case to the station so that I will see the person and ask him questions but that man is refusing to come to the station.
NR: So, it is the man who took the case to the police that you are now waiting for before you honour the invitation. We gathered that the police invited you and you have not reported yet.
Shaahu: I went to the police station three times, ask the police.
NR: Okay, but Mark Tersoo said…
Shaahu: [Cuts in…] Who is the person…even the person who they said embezzled money from his friend, is refusing to go to the station, according to what I heard from the police. He is even running away; that he has gone to settle with his person, that there is no need going to the station again. I don’t know why they are worrying me. I didn’t do any investigation concerning that case; I didn’t do a single, if you ask them they will tell you. I don’t even know the Mark, …he doesn’t even know my name, except I am popular so they may know my name because of the position, if not if I see them, I won’t know them… The person that they ate [embezzle] his money and the person who ate the money, if I see them, I won’t know them.
NR: But we have pictures of the marks of torture, of how he said your men beat him, a medical report…
Shaahu: [Cuts in…] May be it is the Jemgbagh Youths, where they took that man to.
NR: Mark said he was taken to Jemgbagh Youths but that they didn’t touch him. He said it was after they left Jemgbagh Youths office that he was now reported to your office and your men arrested him and tortured him for two days.
Shaahu: Supposing you are close, I would have asked you to bring those people to me to let me talk to them myself, throw some question to them. Let the complainant and his friend go to the police station so that I will go there and meet them; I will throw some questions to them.
This investigation by National Record is supported by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity and Accountability project (CMEDIA) funded by the MacArthur Foundation.