Two policemen attached to a bank in the Okota area of Lagos State have been arrested for allegedly beating up a businessman, Damilola Durodola.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the police sergeants, identified only as Ezekiel and Haruna, were facing disciplinary actions at the command headquarters at Ikeja, Lagos.
PUNCH learnt that Durodola, who drove a KIA vehicle, was on his way to work on Thursday when he ran into a traffic allegedly caused by a pothole in front of the bank.
He had taken the bank’s premises to evade the traffic when he was reportedly challenged by one of the policemen, Ezekiel.
The 28-year-old was allegedly held by the cop, who also called his colleague, Haruna, on the telephone.
The Afijo, Oyo State indigene, said he was shocked when Haruna, on arriving at the scene, broke his wing mirrors and used an iron rod to hit him in the face.
“I was going to my place of work at Surulere on Thursday when I ran into traffic on Okota Road. There was a pothole in front of the bank, which motorists were avoiding. That was around 8.05am.
“I observed that the bank’s customers’ parking space was empty by that time, so I decided to use it to go out. I was approaching the exit when the mobile policeman, who was in a polo shirt and khaki trousers, flagged me down.
“I thought it would be a normal conversation, so I waited. He asked me to reverse. I told him that if I did that I could cause traffic for other road users. He started hitting my car as he held on to my shirt.
“I drove about eight blocks away from the bank. The mobile policeman brought out his phone to make a call. A few minutes later, I saw another mobile policeman arriving on a motorcycle. He had a gun and an iron rod in his hands. Without hearing anything from me, he broke my wing mirrors and whipped my eye with the iron rod.”
The victim said a crowd mobbed the policemen and queried them for beating him up.
Durodola said while in pain, he held on to his assailant.
“I told him that he would go nowhere for assaulting me. He cocked his gun and threatened to shoot me.
“The mob fought the policemen and the bank officials came out to intervene. Shortly afterwards, a team of policemen arrived at the scene and shot into the air to disperse the crowd.
“Suddenly, one of the policemen held me and said I was harassing a uniformed man; they wanted to turn the case against me. The mob came back and rescued me,” he added.
The victim said he called and narrated his ordeal to the Commander of the Rapid Response Squad, adding that the senior police officer asked him to report the case at the command headquarters in Ikeja.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the case was referred to the office of the provost, who directed some senior police officers to follow Durodola to the Okota Police Station and the bank to identify the mopols involved in the incident.
At the Okota division, the policemen on the ground allegedly gave wrong names to the team.
The names given by the bank were also reported to have conflicted with those given at the station.
“One of the officers with us, a DSP, asked to see the details of policemen who took weapons from the armoury that morning. He observed that the names were also different. But as we were about leaving the bank premises, I saw the two policemen coming out and quickly identified them.
“I was told that they were arrested on Friday. While one of them was detained, the second, who has an ailment, was left to seek medical attention.
“The officer in charge of the mobile policemen at the Okota division later called to apologise to me on behalf of his men. He said he had also been affected by their action.
“But the provost told me that the policemen would face the consequence of their actions. Although I would have wanted them to fix my car, but this is Nigeria and I have decided to do it myself,” he said.