*Man brutalized by policeman
By Opeoluwani Akintayo
Imagine this: A new year is just 48 hours away; you are filled with joy, thanking God for seeing you (and your family) through the hustle and bustle of the outgoing year, yet full of hope and excitement by the prospect held by the coming one.
And prayerful too, such that you have vowed to not miss the weeklong prayer session by your church to usher in the new year. Then you set out early in the morning for the second day of the prayer session; run into a moody policeman who decides to visit his frustration on you.
Well, that was the lot of Komolafe David Oluwadare, a civil servant of Sunrise, Apapa, Lagos, who got the beating of his life on December 30, 2010 from a mobile policeman, who not only allegedly threatened the life of the victim but also confiscated his mobile phone (Nokia Model CJ, IMEI 35338104-7721011).
Komolafe tells his story:
“I had set out to attend the second day of an early prayer meeting organized by The Apostolic Church (TAC), at the church from 06:00am to 08:00am.
On my way to the programme, I boarded a Coaster bus from Mile-2 . On entering the bus, the policeman occupied a double seat and I asked him to shift a bit for me to sit on the only available vacant double seat. But the policeman responded violently, saying he wasn’t going to shift, even though I called his attention to the fact that the seat was wide enough for the two us.
I decided to alight from the bus, but the policeman stopped me and pounce on me. Seeing this, other passengers tried to stop him from beating me, but their effort wasn’t enough. The driver decided to stop. But instead of listening to the pleas of the passengers, the policeman only got more infuriated and dragged me down from the bus and started using his belt to whip me. In a bid to protect myself, I held on to the belt. He proceeded to tearing my trouser which contained a little sum of money and a Starcomms phone with number: 0819 122 1132; my new Nokia C1 phone which had an MTN line was also seized by the policeman. Sensing that the policeman was bent on doing his worst, beating me further, the driver other passengers left me in the brutal hands of the uniformed man.”
“I made up my mind to follow the policeman wherever he went, with a view to collecting my items, but he kept beating me with a long iron rod which he picked up from an artisan’s shop around Moshalashi bus stop on the Badagry express way.”
“When he realized that I was seriously injured, the policeman tried to escape by boarding another bus. He flagged down a bus, I still followed him. As the struggle continued in the new bus, the passengers, pitying my condition pleaded with the constable to return my phones the phone he seized but their pleas fell on his deaf ears. He rather threatened to stab me to death if I dared to follow him to his house at Doyin. However, the constable didn’t alight at Doyin– probably for fear of knowing his residence.”
“The struggle continued to Agbara where we both alighted. There, I sighted another policeman whose help I sought but all still proved abortive. Luckily for me, I memorised the number on his uniform and his name.”
“I went to the police station at Agbara, but was directed to another police station which was said handles such matters. On getting to the second station, I was again referred to the Police Public Relations office at Ikeja. On my way there I stopped at the scene of the incident to see if I could find my sandals and documents but everything was gone”.
“On getting to Ikeja, I was taken to the office of the Commissioner of Police. From there I was directed to the Oduduwa Crescent office of the Public Relations Officer. The Police Public Relations officer, directed me to report the case at the Area F Command. The Area F Command told me to return to the CP’s office or the police station closest to the place of the incident. I then went to the Human Rights office at Ikeja High Court where I was asked to document the incident for processing. I later went to the Lagos State Teaching Hospital at Ikeja for treatment”.
When Saturday Vanguard contacted the outgoing Lagos State Public Relations Officer, Frank Mbah on phone, he declined to speak on the matter.