A resident, Augustine Ogbomwan , who was
filming the torture of the unidentified driver with his mobile phone camera , was also said to have been detained by the police.
It was learnt that some cops attached to the
Esigie Police Division had stopped the driver's vehicle on Sunday.
The policemen allegedly asked the driver to
alight from the vehicle and searched him.
A businessman, Franklyn Irabor, who lived
close to the scene of the incident, said when
the cops did not find anything on the driver,
they searched the passenger in the vehicle , but did not also find anything incriminating.
He said, “ One of the policemen bent down
and picked something from the ground . He
then challenged the passenger over the item, which they said was hemp.
“Suddenly , the passenger fled and they
arrested the driver . They hit him with their
batons and guns before handcuffing him to
their patrol truck. They drove away as the
man initially struggled to catch up before
falling , while the police van dragged him on the road.
“The driver started calling for help . We could not bear the man ’ s pain and we decided to intervene . The policemen challenged us for interrupting police business.
“ My elder brother , Courage , who was with me, told them that there was no justification for their action ; but they asked him to shut up.
One of the officers cocked his gun and
threatened to shoot us.
“We thought it was a joke, until they started
firing into the air . One of them pushed my
brothers away and another one came and
handcuffed me. They hit me in the back with the butt of their guns . I sustained bruises .
They slapped my brother who tried to stop them from arresting me. They also handcuffed him with me. ”
Franklyn said at that point , a crowd formed
around the policemen to stop them from
leaving with the three of them , adding that the team called for a backup.
He said the new set of policemen , on arriving at the scene , however , chided the team on the ground for their action.
“ The policemen that arrested me and my
brothers were in mufti, while the new
policemen were in uniforms. The ones in
uniforms told the other team that it was
wrong for them to handcuff and drag the
driver on the road.
Because of the disagreement between the two teams , the ones in mufti left . One of the other policemen apologised to us for our injuries and said he would find the key of the handcuffs . After about 45 minutes, they came and unlocked our handcuffs , ” he added.
Culled from Punch