Chinwedu

Juliana Francis

A woman, Mrs Chinwedu Igwe, who was groaning in pain after a policeman attacked and kicked her in the stomach in the Pako area of Lagos State, has been arrested and detained at Idimu Police Station by the same policeman.

According to her husband, Samuel Igwe, who ran to the Executive Director of Esther Child Rights Foundation, Ms Esther Ekwe, a human rights activist, a policeman kicked his wife in the stomach with his booted leg, plunging his wife into unimaginable pains.

He explained that he was in his office today, Tuesday, 13th of February, 2024, when he received a call that a policeman had brutalised his wife.

He left everything and raced to his wife’s shop at Pako. He said: “The whole street was in disarray. There was a crowd and broken bottles everywhere. The shop was locked, and I couldn’t find my wife. I started looking for her, I later found her sitting somewhere and crying, she was in pain, she said that a fat policeman used his booted leg to kick her in the stomach.

“While she was narrating the incident, I had already called someone that would take us to the hospital, suddenly police people came and arrested her. They refused to grant her bail, saying that she would be taken to court tomorrow. My wife has a stomach ulcer, she has not eaten. She’s in pain.”

Samuel further stated he gathered that street urchins, cyclists and policemen were fighting before one of the cyclists ran into his wife’s shop, seeking a safe haven, that was how his wife’s trouble started.

The wife’s sister, Favour, who witnessed the whole drama, said that when she and Chinwedu noticed that the police, street urchins and cyclists were about to fight, they decided to close shop.

She said that such fights had become usual and most times, policemen always end up swooping on the innocent to arrest and detain.

The sisters were about to pack their food items and close the shop when a young cyclist ran into their shop, pursued by two policemen. One of the policemen was in mufti, the other was in uniform. While one of them tried to handcuff the man, the other pointed his gun at Favour, threatening to shoot.

According to Favour, petrified out of her wit, she started screaming.

She narrated: “When I saw the gun pointed at me, I started screaming. How could a policeman just enter our shop and then point his gun at me? I was scared. I sell food, I do not ride a motorcycle and I am not an agbero. I didn’t commit any crime, so why point a gun at me?

“When my sister heard my screaming, she ran into the shop and started asking the policemen if he wanted to kill me, why he was pointing his gun at me. The fat policeman kicked my sister in the stomach with his booted leg. My sister tried to hold him, but he pushed her.

“What crossed my mind was that he would shoot and kill my sister and as is usual in Nigeria, nothing would happen. I jumped and held my sister. My sister has a health condition; she has a stomach ulcer and she has not eaten since morning. She’s in pain. It is that same stomach that the fat policeman kicked. They have arrested and detained her.”

Our reporter contacted the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, to hear the Police side of the story, but he did not pick up his calls. Our reporter also sent a WhatsApp message and voice note concerning the matter, but he had yet to respond at the time of filling in this story.

 

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