An Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Erhator Sunday, attached to the Rapid Response Squad of the Police in Lagos, who remained calm while he was assaulted by a man his team apprehended for allegedly flouting traffic laws, was invited by Babajide Sanwo-olu, the Governor of Lagos for a handshake on Monday.
The altercation, captured in a four minutes 56 seconds video that went viral on Saturday, showed two men pushing and resisting arrest by ASP Sunday, who was armed.
However, the men repeatedly said that they did not violate traffic law and accused the officer of trying to exploit them. Also, a woman who apppeared to have witnessed the incident repeatedly said the two men did not drive against traffic. One of the men was eventually arrested by the policemen.
In a statement on Sunday, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, said that one Victor Ebhomenyen, 33, was arrested for driving against the traffic, assaulting and causing severe bodily injuries on ASP Sunday at Four Point Hotel, Oniru. He added that the vehicle had been impounded in accordance with the provisions of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018.
The public’s reaction to the video was mixed. While some asked that thorough investigations should be carried out, others commended the armed officer for remaining calm. There are ample cases of Nigerian police officers shooting to kill or injure innocent members of the public.
Before shaking hands with ASP Sunday, on Monday, Governor Sanwo-olu commended the officer for his patience and decorum and urged other police officers to show restrain when provoked by members of the public.
“So I want to commend him, thank him and give him a governorship handshake or elbow shake as the case may be, as a source of encouragement for him…,” the Governor said.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has also commended for “demonstrating the spirit of the envisaged Nigeria Police, one where the Police are the friends of the citizenry”.
“Officers, such as Mr Erhator, give us hope that no matter how challenging our present times are Nigeria will get better and that the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain,” Abubakar stated.
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