The Aide-de-Camp to the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Omo Gabriel, and two other police officers, on Saturday, allegedly beat up a policeman attached the state government house for delaying in opening the gate for the governor’s convoy, the PUNCH newspaper is reporting this morning.
The incident, the paper reported, occurred around 12:30 a.m, when the Governor Okorocha returned from his wife’s birthday party. The attack left the victim unconscious.
The mobile policeman, Corporal Itere Ewedor, was said reportedly on duty at the security post when the governor’s convoy drove in.
The paper said it was unable to speak to Mr. Ewedor on Saturday but that his friend, David Edhie, confirmed the incident.
The report quoted Mr. Edhie as saying that after hearing the hooting of the horn from the governor’s convoy, the policeman opened the gate only for the ADC, a superintendent of police, and two other senior police officers to descend on him.
He said, “When the governor’s convoy got to the gate, the men of the civil defence corps and members of the Imo orientation corps, who were supposed to open the gate, were not around. So, there was a delay. Then my friend went to open the gate.
“When the convoy drove in, the ADC and some other police officers came down and asked him why he delayed. They wanted to collect his gun, but he refused. So, they started beating him. They beat him until he became unconscious, with bruises all over his face and parts of his body.”
Mr. Edhie added that the ADC took Mr. Ewedor, in his unconscious state, to Shell Camp Police Station and requested that he be detained.
He said, “The police officers at the station refused. They said they could not detain someone that was dying. Then Gabriel made arrangements for Ewedor to be taken to the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, where he was admitted. After sometime, he regained consciousness.”
Mr. Ewedor, the report continued, was discharged from the hospital around 5pm on Saturday.
Mr. Edhie told THE PUNCH the ADC made frantic efforts to get Ewedor discharged from the hospital, because sympathisers, including journalists, were visiting the place.
When contacted by the paper, the state Commissioner for Information and Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Chinedu Offor, refuted the report.
He reportedly said, “The ADC to Governor Okorocha is a true professional, there is no way he could have descended so low to physically assault somebody. In order not to scare people away, we use men of the civil defence corps at the gate. We don’t use policemen at the gates of the government house. So, if anybody says a policeman was beaten up for refusing to open the gate, it is false. I was at the government house around 12:30am. Such a thing never happened.”