Israel Ajibade, a Lagos-based entrepreneur, has narrated how a police officer serving at the Okoko Police Station, Ojoo, Lagos State, assaulted him and his brother for no reason.
Ajibade told FIJ that on May 17, he and his brother were returning from work on a bike when some police officers stopped them in front of Okoko Police Station.
He said they gave themselves up for a search but the officers did not find anything incriminating on them. While the search was on, an officer, whom he identified as Emeka Arima, assaulted them.
“On May 17, my younger brother and I were on our way back from work around 5 pm,” said Ajibade. “Some police officers asked us to dismount from the bike and we obeyed without any argument.
“The officers searched us but didn’t find anything illegal. While at it, I felt something touching me and I turned back, only to find that it was an officer’s rifle.
“Then this officer came without any idea of what was going on. He dragged and beat me like a thief. I screamed and asked what my offence was but he didn’t give me audience; he was just hitting me for no reason.
“This officer beat me to the extent that his fellow officers told him to let go. Still, he didn’t listen. He kept on hitting and dragging me.”
Ajibade also said after the assault, he was advised by another police officer to report to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at the station. After lodging a complaint, he said the DPO apologised to him.
“On my way out of the DPO’s office, the officer that gave me a straight blow to the eyes apologised, after giving me a swollen face, and my younger brother, a bleeding mouth,” said Ajibade.
”His apologies mean nothing. How could an officer of the law do that? I want justice for me and my brother.”
Ajibade said he saw Arima two days after, and he said he would not have beaten him if he knew he was Igbo.
“Two days later, on my way home, I saw him at the usual spot where they do their stop and search. Someone who is like a brother to me approached him and demanded to know what I did to warrant such a treatment. They spoke in Igbo and he told me that if he knew I was Igbo, he wouldn’t have beaten me. I am not even Igbo.”
He said when he forwarded his complaint to the Police Complaint Response Unit (CRU), they told him his case was being investigated, but he had not heard from them since then.
“On May 18, I made a complaint to the police via WhatsApp. Till now, I haven’t heard from them,” said Ajibade.
FIJ Contacted Benjamin Hundeyin, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), and he said, “Whenever anyone complains to the CRU, the unit always investigates the case. The case will eventually get to me from them.”
When asked if there is an estimated time for the case to be investigated, Hundeyin said, “I can’t tell”.
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