A woman, Toyin Adeleye, who returned from the United States of America about a week ago had a feel of the brutality of the Nigerian police on Friday in Ado-Ekiti State after she reportedly refused to give bribe to police at a check point in the city.
The woman was manhandled along with her two-month-old baby, Heritage, and her younger brother, Adeniyi Dada, by five officers before they were detained at a police station.
The incident occurred at the checkpoint in front of the Ekiti Pavilion and a few metres from the official residence of the newly deployed Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Chafe.
Apart from detaining their victims, the policemen also impounded the black Kia Picanto car with registration number LAGOS FKJ 221 EE which she drove while returning from the market.
The injured woman was seen breastfeeding her baby when journalists visited the police station on Saturday.
The woman’s husband, Akanni Adeyeye, while speaking to journalists, lamented the inhuman treatment meted out to his wife, pointed out that she had bruises on her face and lacerations on her body.
Mr. Adeyeye, who slept in the police station to keep his wife company, said the policemen had requested the vehicle papers and the driver’s license of his brother-in-law, who was driving the car.
He said one of the policemen withheld car documents given to them, demanding that they be “settled,”. He said the demand was rebuffed since the papers were valid.
“My wife and her brother were returning from the market at about 3.00 p.m. on Friday and on arrival at the checkpoint in front of the Pavilion very close to their station, they asked for all vehicle papers and driver’s licence which were produced and they are valid,” he explained.
“After checking all the documents, the policemen were demanding for money to be given as ‘settlement’ which my wife and her brother refused. My wife drew their attention to the baby that was crying in the car.
“Five of them were beating her at the point of arrest and on getting to the station, the beating continued. After thoroughly beating her, they obtained her statement around 10.00 p.m. There are wounds on the back of my wife and face to show for it.
“On getting to the station, they now cooked up a story that my wife slapped one of them and tore his uniform which is a lie. They are telling this lie to justify their action of their cruelty to my wife, my baby and my brother-in-law.
“Neither my wife nor her brother slapped any policeman or tore any uniform. The question to be asked is how would somebody who is not armed attack an armed policeman? They cooked up this falsehood to cover up their brutality,” he said.
The Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chafe, claimed Mrs. Adeyeye was detained for attacking a policeman on duty.
He said the woman tore the uniform of the policeman, adding that the matter would be further investigated.
“Those people slapped my policeman on duty and tore their uniform,” he said.
“Uniform is an authority and what those people did was against the law and it is not good for a civilian to slap a policeman.
“It is not good for somebody to prevent a law enforcement officer from carrying out his lawful duty.
“It is not about his age but the authority he carries. I don’t allow my men to do something contrary to the law.
“I don’t want a woman to be detained with baby or with pregnancy. I don’t want an old woman or a minor to be detained. I have taken note of this and we will take the right action on the matter.”