By Jeremiah Archibong
Men of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Cross River State Police Headquarters, Calabar have been petitioned to the State Commissioner of Police Henry Fadairo for allegedly violating the fundamental human rights of a former APC candidate for the Cross River State House of Assembly in the last election, Mr. Akwaji Omang Henry.
Mr. Akwaji Ogbang, a law graduate from the University of Calabar alleges in his petition that , “At about 2am Saturday, 1st August, 2015 morning, I was out of UNICAL Staff quarters to take my girl friend from the church (Redeemed Christian Church of God) by Goldie-Mount Zion where she attended a vigil service from about 10pm the previous day.
“On reaching there, I called her on the phone and she said she was not done with service, I decided to return home. On my way home, getting to Goldie by Mount Zion junction, I saw a man standing by an Odysseys Honda space bus with plate number: CAL 259 AA with a bullet proof vest crested ‘POLICE’ raising an AK-47 riffle.
“I immediately stopped and turned on my inner light only to see another man on muftis appear with iron rod, ordering me to get out of the car, without giving me a chance to explain myself, he immediately bounced on me by hitting me on my knees and hands severally with the heavy metal”.
The petitioner further alleges that as soon as he managed to step out of his car, “He (the policeman) started searching my whole car and found my girlfriends hair attachment and one of her pants in the car since she prepared to stay over at my place to make her hair on Saturday. He concluded and announced that I had gone to rape a woman at late hour. I had no prior notice of a curfew in Calabar.
“He asked me to lie on the floor, later brought another guy from that space bus on hand-cuffs, paired him and I with the same hand-cuffs, brought out a machete asked me to turn my back, and started flogging me with the sharp machete without listening to any explanations. He kept assaulting me until another police van appeared (without a plate number) and a man on muftis out of the about eight (8) wearing bullet proof with also crested ‘POLICE’ and armed came forth, asked my name and what happened, I explained and he ordered the perpetrator of these assaults to unbound us and proceed to verify from my girlfriend at the church if she actually knows me.
“Upon reaching there, the pastor invited her and she confirmed that she intends to stay at my place after the vigil so she left those items in my car; The policemen led by one Ayim and Bassey Ndem quietly walked away leaving me battered in astute pains of bruises and injuries”.
As a result of the assault he disclosed that: “Right now the fracture I sustained from a ghastly motor accident in June, year 2009 has being re-fractured, I’m going through terrible pains and back aches from machete wounds; I left immediately to the State CID, Calabar and was referred to Mbukpa Police station to incident the matter, which I did and they promised to investigate the matter”.
Mr. Henry also disclosed that he had earlier reported the matter at Uwanse and Airport Police Divisions but they refused looking into the case claiming his assaulters are not policemen insisting he should go and get their complete details.
He appealed to the Commissioner of Police to ensure he gets compensated and those who assaulted him are brought to book: “Your good office should be a pavement to justice and swiftly so, I expect that my medical expenses and other damages too, are taken care of by the Nigeria Police and those men be brought to book”.
When CrossRiverWatch contacted the Police authorities, operatives in the State PPRO’s office said no petition of such had reached them but promised such matters will be promptly investigated, as the new Police administration will no longer tolerate such excesses.
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