Sunday, 23 June 2013

Woman narrates police brutality ordeal

Author(s): Patience Ogbo
Tope Moore, a 35-year-old single mother of two children, who was allegedly brutalised by policemen attached to the Pedro Police station in Lagos State and later detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department at Panti Yaba, has been released following an order from the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko.
Tope, who was detained over allegations that her younger brother, Bolaji Moore, masterminded the killing of one Osondu Obuneke, was released last Friday after Manko was informed of her ordeal.
Tope Martins alleges that she was brutalised by policemen who detained her in her younger brother's stead.
Tope Martins alleges that she was brutalised by policemen who detained her in her younger brother’s stead.
The CP also detained the team of policemen who brutalised her and effected her unlawful arrest.
When she spoke about her detention, Tope wept as she narrated her ordeal. She said she intends to petition the Inspector General of Police over the police maltreatment.
“I am still in fear over how the policemen treated me. It was around 1a.m. that fateful day when my 12-year-old son, Toheeb, called me on phone that some policemen had held him at gunpoint telling him to take them to his mother. I did not spend the night with my children. I went to my boyfriend’s house that night,” she narrated.
“Toheeb said the policemen  threatened to shoot him if he refused to bring them to my lover’s house. I  was at the balcony of the house waiting, when I saw the policemen. They were over twenty in 5 vehicles. I greeted them, since I know almost all of them. They asked of Bolaji, my younger brother, the last child of the family, and I told them I had not seen him in over three months. One of the policemen  was infuriated  by my answer. He jumped into the compound through the fence, bundled me through the balcony and started slapping me heavily.
Lagos CP, Umaru Manko ordered the detention of the policemen who brutalised Miss Moore.
Lagos CP, Umaru Manko ordered the detention of the policemen who brutalised Miss Moore.
“I could not comprehend what was happening. It was while the beating became intense I heard him say my brother killed somebody. They took me through the fence. I was injured but they pushed me into one of their waiting vehicles with a corpse. The policemen also arrested more people. They took us to the Famous Hotel where they were given some packages including beer.
“By 2:30a.m. they finally took us to the station, where I  was made to write a statement. I  was taken  into the cell. By then, I  had been totally brutalised. I even passed faeces on my body.
“I was released after paying N15,000 and promising to bring Bolaji. But I told the police after I was taken to see the Area H commander in Ogudu that Bolaji does not reside with me anymore and that ever since I  made Bolaji to work at UAC food as a technician in training but he continued to cause trouble in the neighbourhood, I had told him not to come to my house again.
“I was taken to SCID Panti but was released on Friday after spending four days in detention for a crime I know nothing about. As I am talking to you, I’m still shaken and in fear over my ordeal. I am glad to be released but I will petition the IGP and the Police Service Commission over my ordeal.”

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