A Lagos resident, Tunde Abass, who was arrested for filming police officers allegedly harassing a driver has recounted his experience with the police in Lagos.
Mr Abass was arrested on Sunday by officers attached to Onipanu Division for filming them in operation.
In the video posted on his Facebook account, a police officer was seen harassing the driver of a wine-coloured car.
While making the video, Mr Abass was heard telling the police officer not to harass the man because he has provided necessary documents.
The incident, however, escalated as the police officer was heard referring to the driver as “stupid”.
“You’re trying to intimidate the guy. They’ve burst his tyres. They’re trying to intimidate the guy,” Mr Abass said in the video.
Following his intervention in the matter, Mr Abass was arrested by the officers and detained at Onipanu division.
Following his arrest, several activists, friends and acquaintances of Mr Abass took to the social media to condemn his arrest and detention.
A Twitter user, @Williamssefe16 wrote:
“This is Comr Tunde Abass in the cell at Onipanu police station,he has been kept in the cell since yesterday for filming police brutality & was arrested in the process,he will appear in court tomorrow, stand for what’s right and unjust in the society!!#EndPoliceBrutality.”
Another Twitter User @VictorIsrael_ tweeted:
“This is Comrade Tunde Abass in cell at Onipanu station. His crime is Filming police brutality yesterday the 20th of March 2021. He would appear in court tomorrow. Is it a crime to film police Brutality? He has nobody. Let’s lend our voices.”
Several persons called for the release of Mr Abass, with many calling on the police authority in Lagos to order Francis Ani, the DPO of Onipanu Division, to release the victim.
On Tuesday, Muyiwa Adejobi, the spokesperson of the Lagos police took to Twitter to announce the release of Mr Abass.
Mr Adejobi said the man “rescued from the police”, was also released.
“Onipanu Issue: Released Tunde Abass in my office about 10 minutes ago, in company of Kabiru Mohammed, the man Tunde rescued from the police, his Dad and other Youth Leaders from Lagos East. Solidarity forever,” he tweeted.
Victim recounts ordeal
Mr Abass through his legal counsels, Ogunlana Adeshina, and Ayo Ademiluyi, has recounted his ordeal in the police cell.
In a statement by Mr Ademiluyi, Mr Abass has a “traumatising ordeal for two days, Saturday and Sunday, 20th and 21st March, 2021 at the Onipanu Division.”
The lawyer said the victim was denied food brought by his friends and “beaten black and blue”.
“He was also detained with a mentally deformed detainee who made his midnight sleep a miserable one by kicking him in the sides.
“He was taken to the Yaba Magistrate Court, where the police officers who brought him from Onipanu Division were not successful in filing trumped up charges against him after same was rejected by Counsel from the Department of Public Relations , who vetted the charges.”
According to the account, the police officers returned him to the cell at Onipanu Division before taking him to Legal Department of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti “and were unsuccessful in getting a charge preferred against him”.
“In frustration, they handed him over to Divisional Police Officer of Pedro Police Station who kept him in a dark and dingy solitary cell, where nobody will have access to him,” the lawyer wrote.
The lawyer said continuous social media campaign forced the Police Public Relations Officer to begin a “damage control public relations ” which led to the release of Mr Abass.
In a tweet on Tuesday night, Mr Abass appreciated everyoneI who fought for his release.
“Thank to everyone for your solidarity support during my time of detentions until my release I appreciate all your concerns towards me. Deep in my heart I do believe, We Shall Overcome before this victory is won, some will have to get thrown in jail,” he tweeted.
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