Pro-democracy group, Take-It-Back Movement, Lagos State Chapter, has condemned the inhumane treatment and brutalisation of a motorist, Eraze Ojerheghan by the Lagos State Task Force policemen.
SaharaReporters learnt that the incident occurred in the Abule Egba area of the state on Tuesday.
Ojerheghan who narrated his ordeal in the hands of the power-drunk police personnel, said he was beaten, his car driven away and N20,000 cash stolen from him by the police personnel.
The policemen had accosted him when he was at the U-Turn Area of Abule Egba.
Take-It-Back in a petition, a copy of which was obtained by SaharaReporters, demanded that the Officer-in-Charge of Human Rights, CSP Adedeji Oluwakemi and Commander, Task Force, CSP Shola Jejeloye, must ensure that Ojerheghan got justice.
The petition by the TIB Lagos State Coordinator, Comrade Ayoyinka Oni, reads, “The Lagos State Task Force Police on December 21 used their thugs and their officers to brutalise a law abiding citizen in front of UBA Bank, U-turn Abule Egba, Off Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos.
“He was at the bank to make a deposit when they blocked him with a small yellow bus, asked him to wind down, beat him up, dragged him out of the car and zoomed off with his car.
“The next few paragraphs would be the testimony of Mr Eraze Ojerheghan; the brutalised citizen.
“The summary of today’s event: I was on my way to the UBA Bank at U-turn bus stop when a public bus stopped in front of me. Some men in mufti alighted from the bus and immediately headed towards my car. They hit the car so badly while asking me to alight. No form of identification was provided, no communication was established. All they asked me to do was to wind down. I refused because of the high incidence of robbery lately around that area. Notable was the death of a medical doctor who turned uber driver just to make ends meet. He was gruesomely murdered around that same area.
“When they failed to make me wind down, a set of police officers accosted me. They were well dressed with their bullet proof vests and they had their AK-47 rifle with them. On sighting them, though their name-tag was visibly concealed, I became relaxed. I wound down but to my amazement, I got a hot slap and blow in return. They all bounced on me, dragged me out of the vehicle and threw me on the bare ground. I was bleeding profusely from my mouth but that didn’t seem to matter.
“What was important to them was my car. One of the men in mufti quickly entered it and drove off without any explanation as to why that should happen. They didn’t tell me my offence neither did they treat me like a human being even when I didn’t show any sign of resistance. Immediately they were done with me and had the car in their custody, they drove off in speed without telling me who they were, where to find my vehicle, what offence I committed and what their mission was. I was utterly bewildered.
“In a bid to unravel their true identity, I quickly jumped into one of the yellow public motor they came with. It was while I was in the vehicle that one of the officers told me they were men of the Lagos State taskforce, that I was apprehended because I drove one way. I was dumbfounded because I didn’t drive one way. Even if I did, was it a justification for the inhumane treatment I got and the beating that was meted out to be?
“Is the beating of an alleged traffic offender part for the mandate given to them, I inquired? When they had enough of me, they threw me out at Alakuko with no means of coming back. It was a public spirited individual that gave me money to come back home.
“Meanwhile, my car key was seized along with my house keys. This informed why I quickly dashed to Alausa to get back my house keys, my UBA ATM card and my money that I left in the car. A little resistance was put up at the gate but finally I was allowed to come in and see the ASP in- charge. He asked his subordinate to allow access to my car. I collected the UBA ATM card, my house keys but the cash of N20,000 was nowhere to be found.
“I went back to the officer to complain but my complaint was met with serious verbal abuse. Knowing full well I won’t get any justice, I dashed straight to Oshodi, where I was told to come on Wednesday by 10am to for possible prosecution and arraignment before the magistrate. They also said the offense I committed will officially reach their desk tomorrow,” the statement summarised Ojerheghan’s ordeal.
TIB added, “Presently Mr Eraze cannot eat because he has head and toothache and also his jaws are swollen. We are demanding his car should be given back to him and his stolen money of the sum of N20,000 also be returned immediately. This is a case of stealing and brutaliaation by the Lagos State Police Task Force.
“If the Nigeria Police and the Lagos State Police are serious about ending #EndPoliceBrutality they would treat this case and many others as a matter of urgency. This is the festive season, if the police cannot protect Nigerians; they should leave them alone, not further frustrating them in an already harsh economy.”