An Associate Professor and Lecturer in the Department of Soil and Environmental Management, Ebonyi state University, EBSU, Abakaliki, Emmanuel Ogbodo was at the weekend, allegedly beaten and dragged to Kpirikpiri Police Division by six armed policemen attached to Ebonyi state police command for allegedly delaying to stop at a checkpoint along Mile 50 area of Ebonyi Local government area of the state.
Vanguard learnt that as the victim came out of his vehicle and introduced himself to the visible angry policemen, hell was unleashed as he was allegedly attacked and beaten.
He sustained head, limbs and eye injuries as a result of the incident.
Narrating his ordeal, the Professor who stated that he was going to seek redress in court and petition the Commissioner of Police in the state, described the actions of the police as brutal and uncalled for.
“The leader overheard me identifying myself as Professor Obodo and I think he got interest or something of that nature; so, he started shouting who is that person that is trying to intimidate my people by saying that he is a Professor.
Does he think he can intimidate my boys? Suddenly he started shouting shoot that man, shoot him, shoot him.
“So these policemen who looked better organized started corking their guns without shooting while people started scampering into different directions for safety; so the officer staggered to where we were standing and told me to surrender the key to the vehicle.
I told him that the key was still at the ignition and that I don’t have the key; that seem not to have convinced or impressed him in anyway. So he continue to shout, get me the key.
“Then, he now shortly landed me two blows on my face so at that stage he now continues to ask for the key and when he discovered that I was not yielding, he started using his gun on me.
And surprisingly, other fellows of his who were there with me instead of separating or restraining the man from what he was doing, also joined in hitting me down.
They were hitting me with the butt of their guns from all side; with their baton and also kicking me until they brought me down; having done that, they now dragged me to the vehicle and took to their Police Division at Kpirikpiri.
“My sight is still blurred. I think it is quite brutal. I didn’t expect such from people who are actually there to protect me. My face is visibly swollen after bleeding all over my head. I have swelling on the head.
They hit me on the chest so now I have chest pains and even my limbs are all injured. Pains are all over my body. I will seek justice while I report this matter to their superiors thereafter seek justice in court and hope to get it”
When contacted the Ebonyi state police Public Relations Officer, DSP Sylvester Igbo denied the allegation that the Professor was beaten by six policemen but affirmed that only one policeman who was injured as a result the squabble, attacked and wounded the University don. He alleged that the Professor was the person that provoked the assault that was meted out on him by the policeman adding that the area where the incident occurred had a well known record for armed robbery and kidnapping incidences in the state.
“The matter has been brought to my knowledge and the position is that the man was flagged down by the police at a check point but he refused to stop, starting from the first until the last policeman on a stretch of police men at the check point.
“It was at this point; he came out and felt that the policeman used an object to dent his vehicle. What he did was to use his ignition key to puncture the face of the policeman close to his eye and the policeman started bleeding. The policeman he assaulted also retaliated even as he defended himself. The policeman retaliated. They were both taken to the police station. The Professor was charged for assault on the policeman while the policeman was charged for incivility.
The police is investigating and very soon we will find out who provoked the assault and who assaulted each other first”
It would be recalled that at about 3pm on 13th February, 2013, that an
Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP Sani Tella allegedly drove into the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, FETHA, and brutally assaulted one Dr. Okafor Chukwujiekwu of Obstetrics and Gynaecologist Department who was carrying out his duty in the full glare of the public.