Policeman brutalizes man, wife in Lagos

The Nigerian police want Nigerians to believe that the police is their friends but what friend would brutalize his friend just for asking a question?

A police officer identified as Dada Ogunsanya, took the power bestowed on him by virtue of his uniform to the extreme when he allegedly brutalized a couple, Ejeh Smith, and his wife, Grace, at the Lekki Roundabout along 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 face left them with several bodily bruises as well as damaged eyes.

According to the Punch Newspaper, Smith, and his wife, were in a taxi heading home at about 10pm on Wednesday, 3rd December, 2014, when a 7-man police team accosted them at the popular roundabout.

The police team was said to have stopped the taxi driver and demanded that he opened his boot for a routine check.

The taxi driver, one Ndubuisi Iheaka, narrated to Punch Metro that after he opened his boot which contained scaffolding belts, the policeman demanded to see his driving licence.

Hear him:

"I was about getting the driving licence when he started flashing his torchlight on my passengers who were sitting at the back.

The wife told the officer not to flash the torch on them since the inner light of the vehicle was on.

Because of what she said, the policeman asked them to come down from the cab. This started an argument. The next thing I saw was that the policeman pulled my passenger (Ejeh) by his trousers, and his wife went to plead with him to stop.

But instead, he slapped her and punched her husband. He was wearing a ring, which inflicted a deep cut on Ejeh’s face. After that, he used the butt of his gun to hit him in his eye and face. He also dragged his wife on the road."

Also narrating her experience in the hands of the policeman from her hospital bed, Grace said:

"If I was pregnant that night, I would have lost my pregnancy. The man kept hitting me in the tummy. I was only trying to pet him to leave my husband since he did not have business with us. I told him to face the cab driver and leave us alone.

The other policemen were just looking at him while he dragged me on the ground. A man riding a tricycle at the time was the one who rescued me. He said the policemen must call their Divisional Police Officer or else he would not leave the scene."

The brutality of the couple only ended when the DPO of Ikoyi Police Division, Mrs. Aisha Haruna, arrived at the scene and ordered that the couple be taken to the station to make their statements.

Smith who also has a deep cut on his left eye and said he could barely see because of the blood that covered his face, also poured out his agony:

"When the DPO arrived, she said we should be taken to the station to make our statements but we told her that we needed to first treat ourselves before we could make statements.

That was when we were given forms and referred to the Falomo Police Hospital. We paid for the treatment and we also went to the eye clinic for treatment."

According to Grace, instead of the female DPO to find a way of settling the matter, she however seized her phone and asked an inspector at the station to delete all the pictures and video recording she did of the incident.

"Even my personal data were deleted. And when I asked the DPO why she did that, she said we deserved the treatment we got. She said she would have locked us up in the cell if not for our injuries. She said we did not know how to talk."

Now, the family lawyer of the victims, Sunday Agbinya, has vowed that his office must get justice for them. He says he will send a petition to the  Inspector General of Police to redress the wrong done to his clients.

"This is a case of assault occasioning harm and we intend to challenge it. We will send a petition to the IG. We want the police to conduct a full investigation into this."

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident and said they are looking into the incident.

"Yes, the incident happened in the Ikoyi division. Inquiries are on as well as disciplinary procedures."

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