Ex-Edo House of Assembly Aspirant Recounts Ordeal in Hands of Police

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Chiamaka Ozulumba

In recent times, there has been a push for the amendment of laws regulating the conduct of policemen due to allegations of brutality, harassment, and illegal stop-and-search operations levelled against the Nigeria Police Force.

The latest victim of an alleged case of police brutality was Mr. Augustus Ikhine, one-time Edo State House of Assembly aspirant during the 2018 general election.
According to him, the incident happened on Monday 9, 2019 at about 4:32 pm, along Works Road off Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja GRA, Lagos.

“I was coming from Apapa and entered Works road through Oba Akinjobi way while trying to access Abeokuta Express Way,” Ikhine recounted.
“There was serious traffic and I was trying to make a U-turn on Works Road back to Akinjobi when a bike carrying two men ran into my side door and fell. I immediately came out of my car to assess the situation and help the two men.”

He continued: “I rushed to the bike rider profusely apologizing and checking for injuries before I quickly darted to the passenger still lying on the road and shouting that I wanted to kill him. When the bike rider whom I later discovered to be Samuel Aluko a police corporal pulled me from the back and landed a punch directly on my left eye.

“I was completely dazed and turned to question him, when the other passenger, Chuks, a superintendent of police recording the scene on his phone kept saying: ‘This is how you people kill policemen’ and a scuffle ensued with him bearing the brunt of the altercation, my clothes were torn by both men with my car key and phones seized.”

Ikhine told THISDAY further: “Unknown to me, the two men were plain-clothed policemen, who told him that he would be seriously dealt with for causing the accident and even threatened him saying, ‘You are very lucky this happened during the day. If this happened at night your case would have been different.’

“I was taken to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team, South/West Office Ikeja, Lagos against my will, where I was compelled to write a statement, maintaining my stand that I did nothing wrong.

“I was subjected to inhumane treatment with my request for urgent medical attention blatantly ignored by officers on duty and still without my phones. It was when CSP Philip Rieninwa, the coordinator of the IGP Intelligence Response Team came that the overall attitude of the policemen present subdued but the atmosphere was still tense.”

He added, “But Chuks and Samuel were still raving and threatening to deal with me in the presence of the CSP, who was profusely apologizing on his colleagues’ behalf. He ordered them to take me to Police College Hospital, Ikeja for First Aid treatment.
“When we got to the hospital, the policemen started making claims of various degrees of injuries with Corporal Samuel Aluko who claimed to have broken his leg after the fall from the bike, springing up to accost a friend of mine who followed us to the hospital. They underwent routine medical checkups with referrals given to him due to the severity of the head and eye trauma he sustained from the scuffle with the total medical bill, N3000, paid by CSP Philip.”

Narrating his ordeal further, Ikhine noted: “When we got back to the office, my phones and the car key were given back to me at the insistence of CSP Philip at about 11:40 pm, with numerous missed calls from his wife and friends who didn’t know his whereabouts for almost eight hours. The policemen were still making threats, ‘that even if their oga lets me go, they will still deal with me’. I was escorted by the CSP who was still pleading on their behalf to let the matter die down but I refused.

“The next day being Tuesday, I went to the Nigerian Airforce Hospital (NAF), Ikeja where I spent six hours at the NAF Eye Clinic undergoing ocular Bscan and X-ray orbit test. I was later referred to MeCure Hospital Oshodi, Lagos for the ocular Bscan when it couldn’t be done at the main NAF Hospital.”

Ikhine, who was traumatized by the assault, said his fundamental human rights were violated and would seek justice, pointing out that he suffers from severe headache, pain in the eye, a bruised neck and a swollen upper lip.