Police Detain, Torture Man For ‘Mistakenly’ Hitting An Officer In Edo
A police officer identified as Beatrice Amowie has been accused of detaining, torturing and inflicting injuries on a a 37-year-old cab driver, Mr. Vincent Omosigho Erawuyi, who was detained in the cell in Benin City.
Omosigho said he had encountered Amowie, a Police Inspector attached to Etete Police station, Benin, at Limit Junction where he went to apologise to an officer he had offended for not stopping when he was asked to pullover.
He added that unknown to him, the officer was not on duty but unknowningly apologed to the wrong officer (Amowie) who he said was on duty at the junction and reportedly punched him.
Omosigho who was groaning in pain while speaking to newsmen, said in his bid to escape from officer Amowie, his right hand mistakenly hit her on her chick which led to his arrest and detention.
“I was stopped by a police officer on the 9th of June at Limit Junction. The officer stopped me and was about damaging my sidemirror so I zoomed off. But because it is my regular route, and knowing well that I had wronged the officer, I went there to beg, honestly speaking, I never knew it was the wrong person I was apologising to. As I was apologising for my wrongdoing the previous day, she held me tight on my neck with my shirt and started punching me. And on my bid to escape, my hand mistakenly hits her on the chick and she arrested me and took me to Etete Police station.”
According to him; “I was detained in the cell for more than a week before I was charged to court but during this period, the police denied my family access to me.
Omosigho added that in the course of his trial in the court, he was granted bail but he was unable to meet the bail conditions which warranted his return to the cell.
He noted that, on getting to the cell after few days, the Inspector handcuffed him, tortured him and hit him with the butt of her gun on his legs (below his knees) thereby inflicting serious injuries on his legs particularly his left leg.
He noted that after the torture, he was still detained in the cell for over two weeks with no medical treatment, adding that the Inspector vowed that he was going to die in cell while they denied his family members to see him.
When contacted on phone, police spokesperson in Edo State, SP Bello Kontongs, said he was aware of the incident, adding that he had received several calls from activists on the incident but the victim needs to be accompanied by those calling for justice in the incident to the command headquarters or zone 5 so the matter can be treated.
“I’ve received several calls from journalists and activists on the matter but the advice I have been giving is that they should bring the victim to the command headquarters or zone 5 headquarters so they can properly lodge their complaint and we follow it up.
“The station concerned is just a divisional police headquarters so it is not higher than the state command or zone 5. When we receive the complaint formally, we will handle it,” he said.