18th February, 2012
In spite of the recent directive by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Dikko Abubakar that all illegal roads blocks mounted by police in the country be disbanded, it seems there is no respite yet for the people of Oyo State, southwest Nigeria.
Illegal roads blocks and harassment of the citizens of the state continues unabated as the police still demand for money from commuter vehicle drivers and they get vicious if the drivers refuse to give them money.
Such was the case today at Adekile-Goodwill Area of Ibadan, capital of Oyo State when a police sergeant, Odetade Bamidele with No. 2138191 beat a commuter bus driver identified as Kehinde to a stupor for refusing to give him N50 that he demanded.
According to eye-witnesses account, the policeman had stopped Kehinde who was driving a Lite Ace bus with registration number XB 179 YAB asking him to bring N50 as usual but Kehinde refused saying that the police authority has asked them to get off the road.
This annoyed the policeman who used his baton to hit the driver severally on the head which made him to lose consciousness.
The eye witness stated, “The man just fainted. It took the intervention of people around to revive him. In fact we thought he has died. But we ensured that the policeman did not run away. They are used to doing this thing but we will not allow them again as long as the highest police authorities back us.”
People around the area peacefully protested around the town appealing to the police authorities to ensure that police terrorism stopped in the country.
They futher demanded that the government should ensure that police do not come back to the road and if they must, they should concentrate only on securing the lives of Nigerians rather than robbing them on the roads.
Residents of the area apprehended the policeman and drove him to the police station.
Confirming the incident, the state police spokesperson, ASP Femi Okanlawon said that the policeman has been detained, adding that the police authorities in the state would investigate the matter.
According to him, “If he is found guilty, he would be dealt with and possibly prosecuted.”
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan