By Onome Oghenetega
Men of the Delta Police Command on Wednesday, gave Vanguard journalist, Paul Olayemi, covering the Sapele axis of the state the beating of his life.
In a statement by the victim, the police officers attacked him for allegedly taping their onslaughts on motorcycle, otherwise known as Okada riders.
Recounting his ordeal, Olayemi said he had been invited to cover the riders protest over the dusk to dawn curfew recently announced by the Sapele Local Government Council Chairman.
He stated that even though the policemen recognised him as a pressman, they unleashed beatings and punches on him.
He added that cyclists who could not escape the attack were beaten black and blue by a combined team of soldiers from the 19th Battalion, policemen, as well as a group of vigilante men.
Also, hundreds of motorcycles were either destroyed of impounded in the onslaught.
He said, “As early as 11am they started the protest from Ogodo Road junction in Sapele and through Adeola Road to Okpe Road and then Ajogodo to Amukpe and at Amukpe the Okada riders were still protesting peacefully when a combined team of the Nigerian Police, Soldiers from the 19th battalion brigade stationed in Sapele and a team of Vigilante group swooped on them and started attacking them.
“Some of the protesters were beaten black and blue while those who fled, their motorcycles were destroyed and impounded.
“I was standing by the scene when one of the policemen who knows me accused me of trying to record their actions. They attacked me with baton while others kept punching my head and raining blows on me.
“One of them on dreadlocks kept punching away at my stomach, even when I was trying to identify myself. I was practically dragged with other Okada men to the back of their vehicle and my phone and bag were seized from me.
“Like other common criminals, they paraded me before taking me to the Station. Even at the scene of it, I called the Divisional Police Officer, Egong Egong at the back of the hilux, he waved me that he would come to the station to meet me.
“I was whisked to the station and locked up in the cell with others and hundreds of motorcycles that had been badly damaged by some overzealous security men were seized. I was locked up for close to an hour in the police cell before the DPO came to release me, and subsequently took me to the Police clinic for treatment following injuries I sustained from the brutality.
“I was treated and the DPO apologized before I left the Police clinic. As I write this, I am still feeling pains from my head and my stomach, where they punched me and I am heading to another clinic for treatment.
“Though my phone and bag was later returned to me, I noticed that recorded shots of my coverages including scenes from the protest were deleted. My bag too was destroyed and my phone damaged.”
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