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How Female Inspector Tortured and Damaged My Legs –Cab Driver

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A 37-year-old cab driver, Mr. Vincent Omosigho Erawuyi, has revealed, in chilling details, how a female inspector, Beatrice Amowie, used the butt of her gun to torture his legs until he almost passed out from intense pains. Vincent, a Higher National Diploma (HND) holder from the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, said that both of his legs are presently useless to him.

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He also mentioned that his alleged torturer works with the Edo State Police Command. The father of two said that after his graduation, he searched for jobs, but everywhere he went was a dead end. He resorted to commercial driving to make ends meet. He said that his trouble with Amowie started after he was arrested for disobeying traffic and fighting with a police officer. According to him, he was locked up in the cell for three days before he was taken to court. Although he was granted bail, he was still returned to the police detention facility because he couldn’t meet his bail conditions.

He said: “At the police station, I was handcuffed, with both of my hands behind, and forced to sit on the ground, while the policewoman repeatedly used the butt of her gun to hit my two legs. I almost passed out from the pain. “It all started on June 10, 2021. I was driving on Sapele Road, at Limit Junction when I saw a passenger, who flagged me down. I was not aware that people were not supposed to park at that particular junction. The passage quickly jumped into my car. When I looked at the other side, a traffic officer was already at alert, hitting my car. He was attempting to break the side mirror of my car. I quickly drove off.

The following day, as I was driving past that point, because that’s my route, I stopped to apologise to the officer. Unfortunately for me, maybe some other person might have offended him, I don’t know, but he shouted, ‘Did you see me here yesterday? Are you mad, are you stupid?’ He held me by the neck and I had not even come down from my car. Then in an attempt to free myself from him, my finger scratched his face and blood dripped on his uniform. I was arrested and taken to New Etete Divisional Police Headquarters. I was pushed into the cell and after three days, I was brought out and asked to write a statement.

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It was then I knew that my Investigating Police Officer (IPO) was a woman. After the statement, she started hitting me. Her anger was just too much. After another three days, she called me out and said, ‘today is your court day.’ I was bundled into a waiting cab.”

Vincent said that he had no legal representation because his family, friends and colleagues were not aware that he was going to be taken to court on that day. He also alleged that he couldn’t reach his family members because his IPO had seized his phone. “In the court, the magistrate granted me bail, but because I couldn’t meet the bail conditions, I was returned to the police station.

The woman said I should go and told me that she doesn’t take nonsense from anybody. She took me to her office and asked me to sit on the floor and then she handcuffed me, with my hands behind. She then used the butt of her gun to pound my two legs. Blood was coming out from the wounds and there was no treatment.

The IPO even snatched and trashed the drugs my wife brought for me for my pains and injuries. The case was almost getting out of hand before my people met my bail conditions and I was released. Today, I have spent more than N300,000 on hospital bills!

I was taken to a hospital close to my house after my release and it was there I was referred to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH),” Vincent recounted. At UBTH, Vincent was asked to go for an x-ray, which cost N100,000. He appealed to Nigerians to help him because he had spent all he had. Vincent’s wife, Mrs. Stella Erawuyi, while narrating what she went through while her husband was in detention, broke down and wept. She 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.

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They prevented us from seeing him after they beat him and injured him.” Also, his mother, Mrs. Magdalene Erawuyi, said life had become unbearable for her since the incident, as she had spent so much money. She said that Vincent’s condition was becoming worse and that she wanted well-meaning Nigerians to assist him to get proper medical help for his legs. “I used to cry every day because I never knew that a woman, who knows how difficult it is to carry a child for nine months and give birth to it, will do this kind of thing to my son. I have not seen the woman, but I will like to know her. People should help me,” she said while sobbing.

The Edo Civil Society Organisation (EBSCO) has petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Phillip Ogbadu, over Vincent’s torture while in police custody. The petition was signed by the EBSCO Interim Chairman, Bishop Osadolor-Ochei (JP), and dated July 1, 2021. “The above-mentioned group do write for and on behalf of Mr. Vincent Erawuyi who was in our office to report a case of torture and maltreatment on him by Inspector Beatrice Amowie with service Number 271609 and attached to New Etete Divisional Police Headquarters,” EBSCo said. It added that Vincent did not have any dangerous weapon or used the same to attack any police officer to warrant his present condition.

The group also said that Amowie assumed the position of a complainant and enforcer of judgement, adding that Vincent was battling with life-threatening conditions as a result of injuries inflicted on him by Amowie. The rights group, therefore, asked the Commissioner of Police, Ogbadu, to investigate the matter and make sure that justice was served.

But a police source said that on that fateful day, one of the car dealers at the junction called an officer at the New Etete Divisional Police Headquarters, to inform him that somebody almost killed a police officer on duty and that even before a patrol team dispatched to the scene got there, a patrol team from another division had arrested him.

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“On that fateful day, one of the car dealers at the junction called one of our officers here, informing him that somebody almost killed a policeman on duty and a patrol team was dispatched to the scene, but before they got there, a patrol team from another division had arrested him, while another cabman drove his vehicle to this division. It was those police officers from another division that brought a short iron used to inflict injury on that policeman on duty. When we brought him, he was drunk and on seeing that he was drunk, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) said that he must go to court.

It was the next day that he was arraigned. He was taken back to the cell because he was to be remanded. He was not taken to prison because of the COVID- 19 rules which state that every accused must undergo the test before being taken to prison.

“However, before the test, his people perfected his bail conditions and he was released. Nobody was told that he was injured. It could be outside the station that he was injured and may have decided to put the blame on the police.” The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Bello Kontongs, said that he was aware of the incident. The PPRO added that he had received several calls from activists on the incident.

Kontongs said the victim needed to be accompanied by those calling for justice in the incident to the Command Headquarters or Zone 5 so that the matter could be treated. He said: “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 then 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.”

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