The Kaduna police chief said the deceased could have died of other illnesses.
A policeman in Kaduna State reportedly beat a civilian to the extent that the victim died after he was taken to a hospital, witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES.
The incident is reported to have occurred along Forcados/Bonny Street in Kaduna metropolis.
Witnesses identified the deceased, who lost his life while trying to resolve a dispute, as a 40-year-old man named Elisha.
Mr. Elisha was said to have intervened in a quarrel between a Prison Service officer and a policeman. The security officials blocked one another’s cars as they drove in opposite directions of the road; with each accusing the other of driving wrongly, eye witnesses said.
According to a witness who would not want his name mentioned for safety reasons, Mr. Elisha came out of his shop, a printing press located along the street, to persuade both security officials to resolve their dispute amicably.
The witness said the policeman did not like Mr. Elisha’s intervention and began to punch him on the chest and abdomen. He said Mr. Elisha’s neighbours intervened and pleaded with the policeman to set the deceased free even as the
policeman tried to drag Mr. Elisha into a waiting vehicle.
Another witness who gave his name as Sheriff said “my friend (Mr. Elisha) came out of his shop which is facing the road, and started to calm the two drivers, telling them that since both of them are uniform men, they should not fight over who should pass through the road first.”
“The police shouted at my friend to shut up and even went ahead to jack him and punched on him at the belly. He slumped near his shop and the police went closer to drag him into their vehicle. But the people around started shouting at the police to leave him alone since they have beaten him enough
“After leaving him, he (Mr. Elisha) went to the hospital, but the next thing we heard about him is that he is dead,” Mr. Sheriff said.
When contacted, the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Adenaike, denied that Mr. Elisha was beaten by the policeman. He said the deceased could have been a diabetic.
“No policeman beat him, no policeman hit him, he was foaming at the mouth. I think he is diabetic, and he took himself to the hospital and died there,” he said.
Mr. Elisha’s death is coming less than a month after a policeman shot and killed a commercial motorcyclist in the town.
Saturday’s incident led to protests by some youth in the town as hundreds of them barricaded the Lagos Roundabout and all entrances leading to Magaji Garin Police Station.
They carried various placards with inscriptions such as “Men in Black are Killers,” and attacked a police officer, who narrowly escaped, leaving his motorcycle behind.
Neighbours described the deceased as an indigene of Kogi State who was married with three children.
The Prison Service officer involved in the initial scuffle was seen at the Magaji Garin Police Station writing a statement; while his vehicle, with registration number AJ 715 GME, was packed at the police station.
The vehicle used by the policeman, which caused the initial scuffle, was quickly removed from the scene by other police officers to an unknown destination
The father of the deceased, Joseph Kunle, said the family will seek for justice.“I am devastated over the death of my son, and as at the time of talking to you I have not seen the body. Some of my brothers, cousins and uncles have confirmed his dead body.