The bus driver who was handcuffed to a police van by officers attached to the Esigie Division of the Edo State Police Command,
Nigerians were woken up to the brutality when a video of the man chained to a police Hilux van and dragged on the ground went viral on social media with the police claiming that the suspect was a wanted cultist who was resisting arrest.
However, Odozi has spoken out saying the only thing the police found on him at the time of his arrest was an empty packet of cigarette.
The bus driver said the police stopped his vehicle on the East Circular Road in Benin and after a search on him, they did not find anything incriminating apart from the cigarette packet but still went ahead to brutalizing him till he passed out only to be revived at a private hospital.
Odozi while speaking to journalists, said:
“When the police flagged me down along the East Circular Road, I stopped and they searched my vehicle and found nothing except an empty packet of cigarette.
While the search was on, the passenger in my vehicle took to his heels. The policemen then pounced on me despite my cry that they should tell me what my offense was.
They handcuffed me to their vehicle and started dragging me along after giving me the beating of my life, while onlookers were wailing, demanding to know from them what my offense was.
It was at a private hospital that I regained consciousness. I enquired from the hospital staff who brought me there and chained me to the bed and was told officers from Esigie Police Station.
Meanwhile, the N3,000 that I had on me and my handset were removed and have not been returned to me. I was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID) before I was later brought to the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, who is now investigating the matter.”
Following public outcry when the video was released, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Abayomi Shogunle, had reacted by saying that there was no evidence of the victim being dragged on the ground, insisting that he was trying to escape arrest.
In a statement, Shogunle said there was no frame in the video that showed anyone being dragged by a police patrol vehicle as insinuated.
ACP Shogunle said preliminary investigation had revealed that the police at Esigie Division had received information regarding a congregation of suspected cultists.
According to him, based on the information, a police team was dispatched to the scene, where two males were arrested, while others took to their heels.
On searching the person seen handcuffed to the vehicle in the video, some quantity of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, and powder suspected to be cocaine, were found on him.
Continuing, ACP Shogunle had said:
“Both suspects were then loaded into the patrol vehicle and secured accordingly to prevent escape during transportation to the police station.
At a point along Sapkonba Road, a crowd tried to prevent the free passage of the patrol vehicle transporting the suspects. In the process, one of the suspects (seen in the video) tried to escape by jumping off the patrol van, but was restrained by the handcuffs attaching him to the vehicle."
Watch the video here.