By Shola Akingboye, 2nd March, 2022
Blessing Orji, a nursing mother on Wednesday has told the Independent Investigation Panel on Human Rights Violations by the defunct SARS and other units of the Nigerian Police Force, how she was allegedly brutalized by the Police, detained for three days for complaining how she was hit by a motorcycle rider.
Testifying before the panel presided by Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN), on behalf of the Chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), the petitioner who was accompanied to the panel by her husband, Moses Orji disclosed that she was four months pregnant when the incident happened on October 12, 2021.
She informed the Panel that while she was being conveyed with her son by a motorcycle around Karu High Court, in the FCT. She added how they got to a point where another motorcycle abruptly stopped in front of them, which according to her, led to a collusion with another motorbike coming from behind to hit her on the leg.
The complainant, Blessing said it was at this point that she complained to the rider of the motorcycle who snappishly stopped in their front before the one coming from behind hit her leg.
While expecting a response from the alleged offender, a policeman, Corporal Nse Etim of the FCT Police Command allegedly rained abusive words at her saying “these Abuja marriage women do not have respect”.
Upon receiving that unwarranted outburst, the complainant said that she quickly told the policeman that she was not even referring to him and did not understand why he should address him in such a manner.
She said that it was on that note that the Police Officer started to hit her with a torchlight, giving her bruises which resulted in bleeding all over her face.
Testifying further, she informed the panel that she expected the Police to take her to the hospital but they ended up taking her to the police station where she was detained with her son.
It took the intervention of her neighbours including a Village Head, before the Police could release her son to them (neighbours) since her husband was not around.
She also told the panel that she was finally arraigned in court where a judgment in respect of the matter was given in 2018.
Asked by the panel what she wants, the petitioner said that she needs compensation of N10 million and a public apology from the Police.