Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
About 20 policemen currently in training school in Kwara State Wednesday created uproar when they allegedly beat the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch, Mr. Mohammed Akande, and one other lawyer, Mr. Lukman Olarenwaju, beyond recognition and stripped them naked to their boxers before they were thrown into the cell.
The incident, according to THISDAY checks, happened at the training school of the police command located at Challenge area of Ilorin.
The sad incident, it was learnt, occurred when Olanrewaju went to the police premises on the distress call of one of his clients, a tyre dealer, who was at the traffic section of the police compound.
It was gathered that Olanrewaju was about taking a turn to pass through a thorough fare of the police training school at the gate to the traffic section of the premises, few meters away, when he was intercepted by the police who were said to be students in training of the command.
Sources close to the police told journalists that all efforts made to explain that Olarenwaju was a lawyer and was at the premises to see a client in traffic section fell on their deaf ears as they were even asking him, making jest of him whether he wanted to come and teach them law in the school.
Sources added that at that point, about 20 of them gathered and started calling Olarenwaju a fake lawyer and which he denounced immediately, as they even asked him to produce his identity card, and he told them that he is a private lawyer and that they should find out that lawyers don’t always carry identity cards around.
Narrating his ordeal to journalists in Ilorin yesterday, Olarenwaju, who was disturbed by the incident, said: “Despite all my explanations to the men of the police command, they pounced on me slapping and kicking me while some used the butt of their guns to beat me severally.
“At a point, they removed my shirt and trousers leaving me with my boxers and singlet, and threw me on the ground. I was later dump me in their cell
“There was one particular woman, Adeyemi Mulikat, maybe one of their teachers who supervised my beating, and said if I was lucky and I stay in the cell till the following morning, she would ensure that I was killed there.”
The lawyer, however, said it was his client who was waiting for him in the traffic section that attracted a huge crowd at the gate, and seeing the tragedy that had befallen him; he went and called other lawyers who came with the Ilorin NBA chairman who all later came to the venue to rescue him.
Chairman of Ilorin branch of the NBA, Akande, while also recounting his own experience confirmed the incident.
According to Akande, “I received a distress call from one of our colleagues that a member was in crisis at the A division police station at Challenge area and we all went there. It was when we got there that we knew that the incident occurred at the police training school section. We met the headmaster who invited us to his office.
When contacted, the spokesman of Kwara State police command, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident.
According to him, “The entry point around the gate of the school is only for governor, president and ambassador. I was told that some people passed through the place and one of them happened to be a lawyer.
“He was caught, and you know everybody likes proving a point, the lawyer I learnt was beaten.”