Abdullahi Chafe, the Ekiti State Police Commissioner, said the woman who was beaten by police officers at a checkpoint in Ado Ekiti slapped one of his men and tore his uniform.
Mr. Chafe spoke in a reaction to the social media outrage against the police officers for brutalising a woman.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Toyin Adeyeye, nursing a two-month old baby named Heritage, was allegedly beaten by the policemen on Friday. Her face and back show scars from the manhandling by the police officers.
After the beating, she and her baby, including her younger brother, Adeniyi Dada, were detained at a police station in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. The Kia Picanto that Mr. Dada was driving was also impounded.
Mr. Chafe said the woman, who was said to have recently returned from the U.S. where she delivered her baby, committed an offence at a checkpoint when she was asked to prove the ownership of the car in which she was being driven.
“Those people slapped my policeman on duty and tore his uniform. 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, somebody wearing the uniform? 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 as investigation continues”, he said.
The husband of the woman, Akanni Adeyeye, has, however, refuted the police claim, saying his wife and her brother were beaten up and detained for refusing to offer bribe to the police officer at the checkpoint.
He told journalists that about five police officers on duty at the checkpoint beat them up before taking them to the New Iyin Police Station where they are being detained.
He said the police also impounded the black Kia Picanto with registration number LAGOS FKJ 221 EE conveying them.
He claimed that the policemen requested for vehicle particulars and driver’s licence of his brother-in-law who drove the car and found them to be up to date.
He said the refusal of his wife to offer them bribe led to her being beaten-up.
He said the beating was severe to the extent that there are wounds on the back and face of his wife.
Mr. Adeyeye said he was shocked to discover that the police gave a different version of the incident that his wife narrated to him.
He said he believed that the police officers cooked up the story that his wife slapped one of them and tore his uniform.
But the Commissioner of Police insisted that the woman was detained for allegedly slapping one of the police officers on duty and tearing his uniform.
This is the second reported attack by security officials on a woman this month.
On March 12, a woman in Lagos, Ruth Orji, was attacked by soldiers at Odogunyan in Ikorodu area. The military authorities said they have arrested six soldiers who were involved in the attack, while lawyers to the woman said they have sued the military authorities and asked for N250 million in damages.