A Benin-based lawyer, Douglas Ogbakwa, has threatened to sue the police for assault and threat to his life at Azia Junction checkpoint along the Onitsha-Owerri on Thursday.
Narrating his ordeal to journalists in Benin on Friday, Ogbankwa said trouble started when the public vehicle he boarded got to the said Junction and he saw how passengers were being molested and their cell phones seized by the police for no reason.
According to the lawyer, the vehicle he was in was stopped by the policemen and they were about to molest a passenger, as he came down from the vehicle, he introduced himself as a lawyer. He said the Second in Command of the team got angry and assaulted him, threatening that they would kill him and nothing would happen.
He said, “I was coming from Owerri in public transport and our vehicle and others were stopped by the rude policemen at Azia Junction. The policemen led by a man who introduced himself as Second in Command in charge of Orlu Area Command held me down at about 09:38 hours for over one hour on the excuse that I took a photograph of their Armoured Personnel Carriers which was a ploy to seize my phone. People who regularly ply the road told me this is the way they seize people’s phones and later sell them.
“The so-called Second in Command even told me categorically that he was going to seize my phone and sell it at Awka market. The funniest thing is, the rank and file were even more courteous as they behaved like officers while the officer behaved like the rank and file.
“As the argument continued, some passengers approached the scene to plead on my behalf, but he cocked his gun and was about shooting, which made them flee. Some people said that is how they kill innocent persons, and that if it were to be in the night the incident occurred, they (the policemen) would have shot me.
“I had to call the former Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to talk to them and after they spoke with the former IGP, they still did not release my phone as they started boasting which made me call the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, who spoke to them before they release my phone that I just bought at Owerri yesterday,” he added.
Ogbakwa said he had ordered his chamber to file a lawsuit of N100,000,000.00 against the Nigeria Police for infringing on his fundamental human rights.
He also urged the Inspector-General of Police and the Imo State Commissioner of Police to, as a matter of urgency, dismantle the checkpoint at the junction so as to save the common Nigerians from these “inhumane policemen”.