By Charles Agwam
A Bauchi youth, Labiru Ibrahim from Ningi local government of Bauchi State is reeling in severe pains after his encounter with Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ningi Police Division, Muhammed Yusuf following a complaint filed against Ibrahim at the divisional headquarters in Ningi.
Ibrahim, 27, a husband and father of two, narrated to Vanguard how he was brutalized and crippled on June 11, 2019, by a policeman because of an argument he had with his friend Abdulrasheed Saidu which led to the exchange of blows between the duo after returning from a wedding party of a mutual acquaintance.
According to his account, he was surprised when he was told 3 weeks after the fight, while he was away catering to his farm in a distant village in Toro local government area, that the Police was looking for him for his role in the alleged disappearance of his friend’s N27,000 after the brawl they had.
His words: “I had a little disagreement with my friend Abdurasheed before I travelled to Toro where I went to tend to my farm. After 3 weeks, I called to check on my family because there was poor network reception where I was staying. I was told that my friend had reported me to the Police that his N27,000 was missing after the fight we had.
“So I returned to Ningi after cultivating my farm in Toro. I was sitting in my house when one policeman came to take me away to the station. Immediately the DPO came, he started beating me with a batten without even asking for my own side of the story. He later concentrated on my legs and broke my bones.
“After the beating, I felt numbness in my legs. It was as if they were dissociated from the rest of my body. Few hours later, I felt severe pains all over my body. I was still there when my uncle came to bail me but I couldn’t walk.
“I can’t fend for my family because of my condition. In all this, my children are the worst hit because I can no longer provide basic things for them except I regain my legs. I am appealing to Nigerians to support me to get treatment and to help me ensure that justice is done.”
Ibrahim confirmed to Vanguard that policemen from the Ningi Area Command came to take his Statement after a Non-Governmental Organization, Prison Inmates Development Initiative, PIDI filed a petition on his behalf.
The uncle of the victim, Awalu Yunusa told Vanguard that he was shocked when he realized that his nephew, for whom he had gone in search of money to bail was already paralysed by Police brutality.
“I went to bail my nephew who was in Police custody over a fight he had with his friend and a missing sum of money. When I got there, I was told that before my nephew would be released, I must pay the missing N27,000. I went out to search for money, but I was only able to get N10,000.
“When I went back, I was shocked to realize that my nephew couldn’t walk, he had been thoroughly beaten by the DPO. So I took the matter to our traditional local council to prevail on the DPO to treat my nephew. There, the DPO pledged to treat my nephew and made initial deposit of N10,000 for his treatment, since then, we have not received any money from him,” he said.
He told Vanguard that his nephew was rejected when they approached a hospital for treatment.
“My nephew is receiving treatment from a local traditional healer because when I took my nephew to a medical centre, they said that they will not attend to him because it is a police case. They told us to bring police report before they can attend to my nephew. But how do you get a report from police when they are the offender?” He queried rhetorically.
Contacting the accused DPO to hear his side of the story, Muhammed Yusuf who had laughed hysterically, told Vanguard that he would not comment because the case was under investigation.
“The case is under investigation. It is being investigated by Ningi Area Command. Anything that is under investigation, I am not bound by law to talk about it,” he said.
However, the Force Public Relations Officer of Bauchi Command, Kamal Datti told Vanguard that the case was under investigation while assuring that the Police will ensure that justice is served.
“The Command has received the petition and the Commissioner of Police has directed investigation into the matter. The investigation is in progress, however up to this time, the complainant has refused to honour all the invitations sent him by Police investigators to come forward and give his statement in respect of the petition.” he said.