The Lagos couple brutalized by a power-drunk police officer thinks the authorities wants to manipulate the case.
On the 10 of December, 2014, a couple, Ejeh and Grace Smith, had made the headlines after it emerged that a police officer attached to the Ikoyi Police Division, identified as Dada Ogunsanya, had allegedly brutalized them around the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos State, for 'daring' to tell him not to point the light from his torch on their faces during a stop and search operation.
The torture the 29-year-old photographer and his 26-year-old wife, left them with bodily bruises and many Nigerians as well as human rights activists, taking up the case with the police and the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, had to intervene and made sure the erring officer was fished out with a view to punishing him for the crime.
But it seems the police authorities have been shielding the brutal policeman and have been manipulating the orderly-room trial in his favour, while trying to paint the couple as the culprits while the police man is being seen as the victim.
This much, Ejeh Smith, thinks and believes that the power-drunk cop may be let off the hook with a slap on the wrist.
Smith told Punch Metro that the policemen on the panel were in support of the power-drunk cop during the trial at the state command headquarters in Ikeja.
He said some of the policemen even tutored Ogunsanya on what to tell them that would give him a soft landing in the case.
He believes that the policemen are biased and are about to turn the tide against him and his wife.
"Since the incident happened, this would be my first time of meeting with Ogunsanya again.
He came and begged me that it was the devil’s work and that I should forgive him. But I said it was no more about me because Nigerians had become interested in the case.
During the orderly-room trial, the policemen on the panel said we should make our statements again. Later the policemen said it was because we fought with Ogunsanya that he used his gun to hit us.
When Ogunsanya asked me a question, they told him that he didn’t frame his question well, and they helped him to polish it.
I wanted to record the proceeding so that Nigerians can hear everything, but they told me I was not permitted to record because I was in their court."
But the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, thinks Smith is just getting panicky over nothing and that the trial will never be biased.
"The trial is ongoing. Let him not have any anxiety or fear. The trial will be unbiased, professional and transparent and everybody concerned will have justice especially Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
The Commissioner of Police is not interested in anything except that justice is done. Whatever verdict comes out at the end of the day will be submitted to the appropriate authorities."