Former Monaco star Haruna Lukman has detailed how the notorious police body nearly snuffed life out of his body.
Lukman skippered the Golden Eaglets to triumph at the 2007 U-17 World Cup but confessed that for providence, he could have had his life cut short by trigger-happy officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
The SARS is a special arm of the Nigeria Police Force constitutionally charged to investigate cases of armed robbery.
But the unit has earned a notorious reputation of a brutal agency following cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, ill-treatment of detainees, and extortion of suspects.
Only recently, one of the SARS officers was accused of being the cause of the untimely death of Remo Stars captain, Kazeem Tiamiyu.
The deceased was reportedly hit by an onrushing vehicle after he was pushed out of the police car, sparking a protest against the outfit in Sagamu, Ogun State.
The Police Force has been trying to salvage their reputation by denying the incident, but several tales of players beaten up by officers and extorted are making the rounds.
According to a report in The Punch, Nigeria international, Lukman, recounted how he almost suffered a similar fate when he was stopped under the flyover at Ikeja, Lagos, in 2016 and asked to present his tax ID.
“The fact that I smiled at the question earned me the beating of my life; I thought I was going to die,” the midfielder, who was in the Super Eagles squad to the 2010 World Cup, said.
“My car tyres were deflated with gunshots, and I was treated like a criminal. I was returning to the national team after a five-year absence, so I still had to report in camp despite the trauma.”