The Commisioner of Police, Delta State, Nigeria, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, has been petitioned by Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged (CENTREP) over the alledged battery and assault of one Mrs. Rose Simeon , a food vendor and mother-of-four by two senior officers of his command.
The two alleged erring senior Police officers are the Divisional Crime Officer 1, DSP Fabian Ayemeh and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Samuel Ogwa, at the Agbarho Police Station.
The two officers allegedly took turn to batter and teargas the woman who had gone to effect the release of her son, Ufuoma Emmanuel who was arrested for alleged violation of COVID-19 curfew at the station on June 21, 2020.
The petition titled: “Case of Battery and Assault Occasioning Harm on the Person, Mrs Rose Simeon by DSP Fabian Ayemeh at the Nigeria Police Station, Agbarho on Tuesday JUNE 22, 2020” signed by the Executive Director of CENTREP, Oghenejabor Ikimi Esq., and made available to journalists in Delta, detailed how the woman was dehumanized for allegedly shouting at the station.
The arrested Ufuoma, a dry cleaner, was allegedly returning from his store when he was arrested and thrown into the cell incommunicado before his mother could locate his whereabouts the following day, June 22.
She arrived at the police station at about 12 noon and was compelled by a police woman at the counter to pay N500.00 before she could have access to her son.
While interrogating her son, the Divisional Crime Officer 1, DSP Ayemeh, walked in and furiously asked why the woman was in a shouting match in the station.
Without waiting for a response from the woman, DSP Ayemeh allegedly descended on her with several slaps and jabs.
The victim fell on the bare floor and DSP Ayemeh allegedly engaged his legs, trampled and kicked the victim on her stomach, waist and buttocks with his boots.
“The victim began to wail on the bare floor in pains which attracted the presence of DPO Ogwa who requested the victim to stand up but the victim who was in severe pains was unable to do so.
“When some police women tried to assist the victim to regain her balance, they were stopped by the DPO on the pretext that the victim was faking her injury.
“At this juncture, DPO Ogwa ordered his men to teargas the victim saying she was pretending so that she could be filmed by members of the public present at the station and put on facebook,” the petition read in part.
After several hours on the bare floor, the police eventually carried their victim in their van to the General Hospital, Agbarho, but she requested to be taken to Warri Central Hospital for proper medical attention, which the police refused.
She was returned to the police station and abandoned until a neighbor eventually brought a tricycle to convey her home at about 7:00p.m.
“In the course of the above, on the 26th day of June, 2020 at about 9:00a.m or thereabout, the victim was rushed to the Victory Paula Clinic, Okuokoko, in Okpe Local Government Area where she was treated for severe body pains till the next day,” Ikimi disclosed.
Ikimi, therefore called on CP Inuwa to order a detailed and independent probe into the maltreatment and dehumanization of Mrs. Simeon, with a view to bringing DSP Ayemeh and CSP Ogwa, to book.
Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Delta State Police Command, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said she was not aware if the petition had gotten to her boss.
She, however, frowned on the act of releasing the petition to the media by the human rights body when it is obvious that the CP will investigate the matter dispassionately.