A 37-year-old woman, Risikat Bamidele, has lost her nine-week-old pregnancy after police officers tortured her in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital.
The victim, who is currently receiving treatment at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, was said to have been battered because she made a call inside the Kemta Police station, angering the divisional police officer.
The woman had been at the police station on Saturday to secure the release of her detained husband. She was making calls to some members of the family.
This infuriated the police boss who ordered the seizure of the phone. When the woman refused to release the phone, the police boss allegedly ordered his men to deal with her. As they dealt her blows, she started bleeding.
Three days later, at her place of work in the Catholic Comprehensive High School, Onikolobo, Abeokuta, she suddenly collapsed following another round of bleeding and had to be rushed to hospital.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday on her hospital bed she alleged that the policemen slapped her several times before she was pushed behind the counter.
”When I got to the police station, my husband gave me his phone that I should call his brother. While I was calling his brother, I saw one policeman, I did not know he was the DPO. He told me that I was stupid for making calls in the police environment around after eight o’clock’.
”He later called a policeman to arrest me. I was harassed, pushed and brutalised. My husband saw what they were doing to me and he was telling them, that I was pregnant and was begging them not to touch me’.
”But, the DPO turned deaf ears, he was shouting that they will take me to Eleweran (police headquarters) the following day. I asked him what my offence was because I did not know what I had done wrong.
”I was begging them to release me because my husband is in their custody and there is nobody at home to take care of my children. They collected my phone, I could not call anybody, it was my neighbour that took care of my children.
”In the mid night, I was having stomach pain, I called the police man at the counter that I was having pains in my stomach but he said there is nothing he can do.
”After some hours, I discovered I was bleeding, I tried explaining things to the policeman on duty but he did not listen. My husband later gave me money to get sanitary pad. The next morning, I was released by the policeman. They told me that he did not have right to detain me but because I did not give the DPO the phone that was why I was detained’.
”They said, I have learnt a lesson that when an elderly man is talking to me, I should answer immediately.
”I was planning to go to the hospital the following day so that I can get drugs but I went to my office to sign before going to the hospital. It was there that I collapsed in the office and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor confirmed that I have lost my nine weeks pregnancy.”
When contacted, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the police command was not aware but added that the police commissioner would be interested in the matter if the command is notified by the affected family.
”We are not aware of the matter. No one has informed us about the incident, except you journalists. If it is true, the commissioner of police will be interested in the matter. We will check on the affected woman if the command is informed.
”The family should inform the police about the issue and we will take it up from there,” Mr. Adejobi said.
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