BY OLA AJAYI
IBADAN —Some prison officials went wild, yesterday, in Ibadan as they allegedly invaded the Forestry Research Institute premises armed with guns.
They were reportedly chasing a newspaper vendor, Mr. Adewale Moronkeji, who ran there for cover.
When they caught up with him, they beat the newspaper vendor to a pulp.
The vendors whose names were given as Adewale Moronkeji and Kola Ola were at the Forestry junction, about 1,000 metres from the entrance of the house of the controller of prisons when the warders led by the driver of the controller swooped on them.
After beating them up, they took one of them to the police headquarters at Eleyele, Ibadan, claiming he wanted to attack the controller.
Vanguard gathered that some of the guards at the entrance of the Idi‑Ishin residence of the controller had been putting pressure on the newspaper vendors to give them free newspapers to read which the vendors rejected.
The driver of the controller, with bottled anger, allegedly saw the vendors at Idi‑Ishin junction, which is a distance to the entrance of the controller’s residence and ordered them to leave the place.
However, Moronkeji asked him if they were constituting nuisance to him.
This, according to Kola Ola, stirred up the anger of the driver who jumped down from the vehicle and started beating him.
Not satisfied with the assault on Wednesday, the prison officials again stormed the Forestry junction, yesterday, where they saw Moronkeji and his friend, beat them to their satisfaction and drove one of them to Eleiyele police headquarters.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Olabisi Clet‑Ilobanafor said she was not aware of any newspaper vendor being detained in their station even though the Chairman of the Newspaper Distribution Association of Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Abimbola and his men saw Moronkeji in one of the dark rooms in the station with swollen eyes and legs.
Pleading for the release of their man, the newspaper agents stormed the Correspondents’ Chapel at Mokola, yesterday, to protest the inhuman treatment meted to their colleagues.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Prison officials were fruitless.