A police officer named Beatrice Amowie has tortured and inflicted serious injuries on a suspect, Mr. Vincent Omosigho Erawuyi, a 37-year-old cab driver who was detained in the cell in Benin.
Omosigho, a father of two said he had encountered with Amowie, a Police Inspector attached to Etete Police station, Benin, at Limit Junction Benin when he went their stand at the junction to apologise to an officer he said he offended for not stopping when he he was asked to stop the previous day.
He added that not knowing to him, the officer was not on duty but he unknowningly apologised to the wrong officer (Amowie) who he said was on duty at the junction and reportedly punched him.
Omosigho who was groaning in pain while speaking to newsmen said on his bid to escape from officer Amowie, his right hand mistakenly hit her on her chick which led to his arrest and detention.
“I was stopped by a police officer on the 9th of July at Limit Junction. The officer stopped me and was about damaging my sidemirror so I zoomed off. But because it is my regular route, and knowing well that I had wronged the officer, I went there to beg but, honestly speaking, I never knew it was the wrong person I was apologising to. As I was apologising for my wrong doing the previous day, she held me tight on my neck with my shirt and started punching me. And on my bid to escape, my hand mistakenly hits her on the chick and she arrested me and took me to Etete Police station,” he said while weeping.
According to him, he was detained in the cell for more than a week before he was charged to court, adding that during this period the police denied his family to gain access to him.
Omosigho adding that, in the course of his trial in the court, he was granted bail but he was unable to meet the bail conditions which warranted his return to the cell.
He noted that, on getting to the cell after few days, the Inspector handcuffed him, tortured him and hit him with the butt of her gun on his legs (below his knees) thereby inflicting serious injuries on his legs particularly his left leg which was already filled with poss as at when he spoke with newsmen in pain.
He noted that after the torture he was still detained in the cell for over two weeks with no medical treatment, adding that the Inspector vowed that he was going to die in cell while they denied his family members to see him.
Also speaking to our Correspondent in tears, Stella Erawuyi, wife of the suspect, said “They did not allow any of us to see him in the cell so I had to pay N1,000 each time I went to the cell to visit him. They refused us to see him after they beat him and injure him.”
When contacted on phone, police spokesperson in Edo State, SP Bello Kontongs said he was aware of the incident, adding that he had received several calls from activist on the incident but the victim needs to be accompanied by those calling for justice in the incident to the command headquarters or zone 5 so the matter can be treated.
“I’ve received several calls from journalists and activists on the matter but the advice I have been giving is that they should bring the victim to the command headquarters or zone 5 headquarters so they can properly lodge their complaint and we follow it up.
“The station concerned is just a divisional police headquarters so it is not higher than the state command or zone 5. When we receive the complaint formally, we will handle it,” he said.