A Nigerian policeman, Edet Inwang, is presently hospitalized, undergoing treatment following torture and brutalization inflicted by a group of military men in Asaba, Delta State, according to a report by SaharaReporters.
A petition written by Edet’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong to the Office of the Chief of Army Staff and made available to SaharaReporters on Thursday revealed that the police officer was beaten and physically assaulted by at least 10 soldiers because he allegedly parked his car at a wrong spot.
According to the petition, the incident happened on the 9th of December 2023 when Edet was going to his place of work. He decided to park at a store very close to the Nigerian Army's Brigade to purchase some items.
“That upon having his vehicle parked, he heard the voice of a man on mufti whom he would later identify as one Lance Corporal Onyibuchi of the Intelligence Department attached to the 63 Brigade, Asaba, talking from a far distance and speaking in tones which our Client could not comprehend,” the petition reads.
It continued: “That while the ranting ensued, a uniformed soldier approached our Client requesting him to re-park his vehicle, an instruction which our Client unhesitatingly made attempts to comply with.
“That in an attempt to re-park the vehicle, Lance Corporal Cliyibuchi approached our Client, dragging him backwards and asking him why he refused to obey his instructions.
“That in reacting to his question, our Client politely and in a non-confrontational manner explained to the said Lance Corporal Onyibuchi that he didn't hear what he was saying due to the distance; however what followed our Client's. response was a slap from Lance Corporal Onyibuchi and ni the twinkling of an eye, other soldiers numbering not less than ten, pounced on our Client, attacking him in a very ugly fashion to the point where he became unconscious.”
“That while the assault persisted, one of the military men who participated in the assault hit an iron rod against our Client's head, while his left knee and ankle were also hit with the butt of a gun,” the petition added.
It was revealed further the policeman was eventually saved by a soldier who recognised him and he was taken to the Brigade Hospital before proceeding to the Asaba Specialist Hospital where he has undergone and is still undergoing further medical treatment.
The Petition added: “When the said lieutenant asked what our Client had done, the soldiers who assaulted him responded dismissively and recklessly that they did not know that our Client is a police officer.
“That as a consequence of this assault on our client, he has sustained series of injuries which have taken a toll on his physical, emotional and mental health. These injuries include but are not limited to: soft tissue swellings of the skull and left knee, loss of auditory functions of the left ear, trauma on the nose.
“That our client has had to be placed on immobilization of limbs, injectable analgesics and antibiotics as a corollary to the health damage occasioned on him by the unlawful actions of the lawless soldiers.”
The petition, therefore, urged the Chief of Defence Staff to immediately intervene into the matter and ensure justice prevails because “it is clear that the actions of the soldiers constitute a flagrant violation of the fundamental right to dignity of our Client's person, and is criminal, illegal, unjust, unlawful and unconstitutional.
“Our client is a well-respected member of the society and did not commit any crime known to the Nigerian law nor has he done or omitted to do any act that would warrant the degrading treatment which he suffered in the hands of the soldiers.
“In view of the foregoing, DEMAND is hereby made upon your good office to immediately set up a disciplinary panel to investigate this case, and award appropriate punishment to the erring officers in line with the Armed Forces Act, 2004. In addition, we strongly demand appropriate monetary compensation to be paid to our client for the unjustifiable violation of his fundamental rights as well as medical expenses incurred by him.”