By Dayo Johnson
AKUREâ€”NO fewer than 15 policemen brandishing guns brutalized, handcuffed and detained the Ondo State Correspondent of The Nigerian Tribune Mr Yinka Oladoyinbo on Wednesday.
The ugly incident occurred at the newspaper distribution centre in Akure, the Ondo State capital at about 6.15p.m. on Wednesday over a disagreement on the parking of a vehicle causing traffic obstruction.
The policemen dragged him from his car, beat him black and blue, forcefully handcuffed him and detained him for four hours.
Despite plea from his colleagues, the reporter was kicked and beaten with the butt of their guns and later dragged him on the floor before bundling him into the waiting police Hilux van.
The policemen stormed the area in at least three vehicles, including the patrol vehicle and three motorcycles in a commando manner blaring- siren.
Many of them were in plain cloth and threatened to shoot all those who were at the newspaper centre because their Station Officer, Mr. Ayodeji Oyeyemi was the officer involved.
The brutality was extended to other sympathizers who attempted to intervene as two young boys were equally brutalized and bundled into the waiting Hilux van by the policemen.
Narrating his ordeal, Oladoyinbo said he was mercilessly beaten by the officers, who threatened to kill him after disclosing his identity that he was a journalist, adding that he was later detained at the Okuta-Elerinla police station for allegedly attempting to facilitate the escape of a suspect.
â€œThe timely intervention of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Henry Fadairo and the Divisional Police Officer,Â DPO, Mr. Titilola Lasisi however, saved the situation.
â€œAfter the dayâ€™s work, I came down from my office in order to go out. As I entered my car one of the boys working around our office on Adegbola junction, Oyemekun road, Akure sought my help to drop him along the road and I obliged. As I attempted to drive out of the compound, two men in plain cloth blocked my way and said I wonâ€™t go.
â€œOne of them later brought a big stone to block the way without telling me what was going on. I later reversed the vehicle and re-parked it to ask the reason for their action, and before I could come down from the vehicle about 15 men with four of them in police uniform arrived the scene in a police hilux van, one Volkswagen Golf car and four motorcycles and started beating me.