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Cops break driverís head over N5,000

Posted by By CHUKS ONUOHA, Aba on 2007/12/07 | Views: 883 |

Cops break driverís head over N5,000

A tipper driver in Abia State, Onyemechi Ahamefula, has been stabbed on the head by policemen.

A tipper driver in Abia State, Onyemechi Ahamefula, has been stabbed on the head by policemen.

He was allegedly stabbed with a broken bottle by the law enforcement agents for refusing to pay a bribe of N5,000 demanded by six police officers who accused him of operating without covering the sand in the tipper.

The victim also alleged that the policemen made away with N32,000 which was in his vehicle when he became unconscious after the torture.

He also alleged that immediately the police officers suspected that he was dying, following the beating and excess bleeding, they abandoned him and took to their heels.

Ahamefula claimed that while five policemen were holding him, one of them broke a bottle and stabbed him severally on the head, after they had beaten him.

He was given about 10 stitches on the head after a good Samaritan rescued him.
Speaking to Daily Sun on what led to the attack, Ahamefula said: "I was driving along Ikot Ekpene road on September 25, 2007. I wanted to swerve to Umuafai road when one outrider running after me. I saw him from my mirror and applied the breaks and he blocked me. I asked why he was risking his life by coming to block a moving tipper fully loaded with sand. He told me that I did not cover the sand I was carrying. He said that for committing that offence, I should give him N5,000.

I told him to charge me to court and that I didnít have that kind of money. It was at that juncture that he dragged me down and started beating me. Because it was close to their check point, the other five officers who were at the check point joined him. The five, who came, held me and the outrider broke a bottle and stabbed me on the head severally and blood started gushing down my body. When they saw that I was going down in strength, they abandoned me and ran away. It was one good Samaritan that came and took me to the hospital."

Meanwhile, the Abia Tipper Drivers Union has petitioned the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 9, asking that the six policemen who committed the alleged offence be brought to book.
The petition, written by their lawyer, Barrister E.E Azubuike, entitled: "Complaint of Serious Assault, Unlawful Arrest and Detention of Property," the union stated that the incident happened on September 25, 2007, at about 9.30 am.

According to the petition, a policeman and an outrider pursued and blocked him, accusing him of not covering the sand in his tipper.
He said while they were still talking, five other policemen emerged from the blues and joined. He explained that when he turned down their request for N5,000 bribe, they dragged him down from the vehicle and started beating him.

According to the petition, the unionís chairman came to the Central Police Station to find out what the matter was but was "molested by these offensive police officers, including the abominable act of removing and marching on his cap." He accused the policemen of stealing the N32, 000, being contract money he kept in the pigeon hole of the tipper.

The petition stated further that the Mercedes Benz 911 tipper, with the registration No. XA506UMA, was still being detained at CPS since September 25, 2007 and called on the AIG to save them from the hands of the police officers.

The Chairman of the union, Chief Francis Ihevueme, the victim, Onyemaechi Ahamefula, Barrister Azubuike and other members of the union also briefed the press on the issue.
Ihevueme decried the inhuman treatment meted out to them by the police. He said they had done everything, including working for them free of charge to maintain good relationship with them, adding that the police seemed to have natural hatred for tipper drivers.
Reacting to the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Ali Okechukwu, said the commissioner of police was already aware of the matter.

"The CP has waded into the case and has given order to the DPO to investigate it. The police officer involved was wounded on the head also. He had a stitch on his upper eyelid and the scar can not go in two years.

The PPRO said: "He told us that he was passing and the driver was almost pushing him into the gutter and when he asked him why, his conductor spat on him. He said when he eventually stopped, the driver stripped himself and started creating scene on the road. He said it was some policemen who were passing that saw and rescued him from the driver. He said it was because of that they insisted that he must be brought to the station.

The PRO said he was not aware that the police outrider went there to extort money, adding that the CP had ordered that none of the outriders should go out on their own without clearance from their superiors."

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