Nige­ri­ans de­mand Rivers CP’S res­ig­na­tion over ar­ti­san tor­tured by SARS

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Sam­son Fo­larin

SOME Nige­ri­ans have called for the res­ig­na­tion of the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Rivers State Po­lice Com­mand, Ahmad Zaki, for fail­ing to pro­duce op­er­a­tives of the Spe­cial Anti-rob­bery Squad who al­legedly tor­tured an ar­ti­san, Lucky Joseph.

Joseph was al­legedly tor­tured close to his res­i­dence in the Choba Ex­ten­sion, obio Ak­por Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of the state.

A video show­ing three SARS op­er­a­tives beat­ing up the me­chanic had gone vi­ral on the In­ter­net last Thurs­day.

While one slammed him re­peat­edly with a cut­lass, an­other was seen open­ing a tear gas canis­ter in his face; the third of­fi­cial held him down.

The vic­tim’s trousers were pulled down, ex­pos­ing his pri­vate parts.

The as­sault went on un­til two men in­ter­vened to­wards the end of the one minute video.

Joseph later told PUNCH Metro that some res­i­dents con­trib­uted N30,000 which they paid the op­er­a­tives be­fore he was re­leased.

In re­sponse to a poll by The PUNCH on some so­cial me­dia plat­forms, Nige­ri­ans were unan­i­mous that the state CP should re­sign if he could not bring the erring po­lice­men to book.

The ques­tion says, “Should the Rivers Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice re­sign for refusing to iden­tify, ar­rest three rogue po­lice­men who at­tacked Cit­i­zen Lucky with cut­lasses? (Like for YES, Retweet for No)”

As of 8.16pm on Tues­day, about 222 re­spon­dents had liked the post while 146 had retweeted it.

one Daveude, with the Twit­ter han­dle, @Daveude1, said if such treat­ment had been meted out to the son of a rich man, the CP would have acted.

He said, “If it had hap­pened to the son of the elite, he would iden­tify them. This is a son of no man. The Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice in Rivers should know that he will leave ser­vice one day and his chil­dren will def­i­nitely face the same

po­lice that he served.” An­other re­spon­der Juelz,

@Master4_­jee, said, “Till now, our po­lice force is still the worst in the world. The Pres­i­dent has con­firmed it by telling us that the IG disobeyed him.”

Isah Isah, @Isah_kubu, ex­pressed sur­prise that the SARS op­er­a­tives used a cut­lass on the vic­tim.

“Are you se­ri­ous? Po­lice­men us­ing a ma­chete on a cit­i­zen? If they are real po­lice of­fi­cers in that state com­mand, with that video, the CP will surely fish them out,” he said.

An­other reader, Ibrahim Ag­bodemu, said it would be dif­fi­cult for SARS op­er­a­tives to take or­ders from their su­pe­ri­ors af­ter the IG re­fused the or­der of the Pres­i­dent.

He said, “The Pres­i­dent gave a di­rect or­der to the IG; he didn’t obey. So, tell me how will SARS op­er­a­tives lis­ten to the IG? Nige­ria is a comic coun­try where ev­ery­one who has power uses it on those in­fe­rior to them. What a shame­ful act by our se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives.”

On PUNCH On­line, 199 read­ers (94 per cent) voted in favour of the post, while 13 (6 per cent) dis­agreed.

A reader, Maitala Zakariya, won­dered why hu­man rights ac­tivists were not show­ing in­ter­est in the case.

He said, “Please, where are all those pro bono and non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion lawyers? They should pick up this case and help this poor in­no­cent vic­tim. I am very sure the po­lice won’t pick up (the phone to re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions) un­til they meet the vic­tim in ques­tion and set­tle out of court. But I sug­gest sir, that you con­stantly be­rate them un­til a log­i­cal con­clu­sion is reached.”

An­other poster, who iden­ti­fied him­self only as Echeke, said, “Nige­ria po­lice breed­ing fu­ture rev­o­lu­tion­ists and crim­i­nals with­out know­ing it. Too many in­jus­tice leads to self de­fence, which leads to vengeance and crime. I know that the out­come of this too many bru­tal­i­ties will need the Holy Spirit to con­tain. God help Nige­ria.”


Pho­tos: File

Screen grab of the at­tack

• Rivers CP, Zaki Ahmed;

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