By Leftist Aliyu Umweni
It was a war-like situation on the 21st of Oct, 2021 along Ugbegun/Opoji road in the Edo central senatorial district of Edo state at about the hour of 12:30pm, when Enabulele Larry the coordinator of Edo Civil Society Organisations, Igueben study centre was stopped by some police officers with the inscription CRACK TEAM special force deployed to the area to check and curtail the rate of kidnappings and social menace in that axis.
Trouble started when the officers alleged that the activist did not stop at the exact spot the officers asked him to stop but the rights activist maintained that he never beats the checkpoint as he had stopped his motorbike as instructed by the officers hence the current engagement with the officers but this does not go down well with the officers as they claimed no body dare talk when they are talking.
At this point, they ordered him to alight from his motorcycle which he obliged, one of the officers dip his hand in the activist’s pocket and brought out phone but when the activist tried to remind him of the implications, it was slaps and punches on his face, this attracted the attention of the team leader who was sitting on the patrol van, who then demanded he is brought before him, on getting to him, the activist maintain his position that he didn’t beat the checkpoint as alleged by the officers, this angered them the more and it was slaps again right in the presence of the team leader, who then ordered that he should be put on handcuffs and dump into their hillux van which they quickly carried out.
They placed him on chains and incommunicado for over 2hrs before they finally unlock the handcuffs and requested that he should be allowed to make a call, at this point, calls were already flowing from other comrades on hearing what was happening to him but without response. When he eventually had access to his phone, he called on some comrades and reported his ordeal to the leadership of the coalition upon which the OC at the state headquarters was contacted to report the activities of his men.
The CP (Philip Ogbadu) was also informed of the level of infraction and violation of his rights as a citizen the CP then ordered that the matter be incidented at the Irrua divisional police headquarters which were duly obliged without delay.
At this point, the Edo Civil Society Organisations ably led by Bishop Osadolor Ochei already taken steps in bringing the erring officers to book at the state headquarters in Benin. However, the Dpo (CSP Ojidahan Lawrence) choose to mediate on the matter to give the erring officers a soft landing and give the CP report, which the OC begged us to please give a nod as the officers will have to be defaulted. After much pleading, he was allowed to intervene.
Ojidahan Lawrence is one police officer that believe in the respect for the fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
At the end, they succeeded in coughing out the sum of N10.000 for medical attention.
Much appreciation goes to Edo civil society Organizations ably led by Bishop Osadolor Ochei, the immediate past Coordinator General of the network Leftist Omobude Agho for standing side by side with us in ensuring that truth prevailed over falsehood.
However, we want to request for the immediate redeployment of all the officers from the crack unit deployed to Edo central senatorial district as they have resorted to violation of citizens rights ranging from unlawful checking and searching of citizens’ phones at gunpoint. They collect ransom ranging from N100.000 to N300.000, depending on the negotiation power of their victims.
They should be redeployed so as to redeem the image of the police institution and further strengthen the harmonious relationship with the members of the public particularly in Edo Central area of the state.
Leftist Aliyu Umweni
Interim Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations