Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 18 July 2014 | 4,776 times
A soldier on mufty was molested yesterday in Awka, the Anambra State capital, by policemen for not wearing helmet which was recently made compulsory by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, for okada (motorcycle) riders in the state.
News Express gathered that the policemen who were on security duty at the popular Aroma Junction mistook the army officer to be a commercial okada rider and stopped him for not wearing a helmet.
When the man complied, the police officer that stopped him in collaboration with his colleagues started slapping him. As if that was not enough, they asked him to kneel down and frog- jump, but the soldier refused, screaming: “I’m a soldier! I can’t be intimidated by the police.”
Sensing trouble, the leader of the police team, ASP Laz Ebeghe, came out from the police van and started inquiring from the officers what was going on.
In a short moment, some soldiers arrived at the scene and began to question the police team leader on why his men molested the soldier. Trouble was, however, averted when a team of superior police officers from the ‘B’ Division rushed to the scene, apologising to the soldiers for the embarrassment.
To further defuse the tension, the battered soldier with wounds on his knees, hands and face began to appeal to his colleagues to pardon the erring police officers.
An eyewitness, Okafor Tony, told News Express that by then okada riders in the area had thronged the scene, chanting war songs and calling the police unprintable names.
“The okada operators alleged that the police at the Aroma Junction had been in the habit of intimidating, harassing and extorting money from their members,” Okafor said.
Also, in a brief chat with journalists at the scene of the incident, one of the okada riders said: “This is becoming like a legalised toll gate. These policemen collect from each of our members on daily basis an average of N500 each day we ply pass this road.”
The commercial motorcycle operators used the opportunity to call on relevant authorities to come to their rescue, saying that it was God that sent the soldier to use him to make a strong statement about the plight of helpless citizens of the area.
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