A motorist, Farombi Oluwaseun, whose windscreen was reportedly damaged by men of the Nigeria Police Force, recounted his ordeal to The PUNCH.
Driving on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at about 6:40 am, Sunday morning, he said he observed that a convoy of policemen armed to the teeth was behind him.
In a video he managed to take in distress after his windscreen had been allegedly broken by one of the policemen, our correspondent saw a fleet of vehicles (trucks and jeeps), more like a security detail attached to a private individual, blaring sirens as they advanced in a coordinated manner.
They were seen ahead of Farombi, who kept crying out from his vehicle, saying “They broke my mirror, they broke my mirror early this morning… I did not do anything.”
“It happened around Mowe.
“I was on a slow lane, I didn’t know they were coming behind me, they were on a fast lane and wanted to enter a slow lane,” he recounted his ordeal to The PUNCH on Monday.
According to him, their vehicles were up to nine.
“The team leading the convoy was whipping cars; they whipped about three cars. The other cars that got whipped didn’t feel it that much as the whips landed on other parts of their cars. Their whip on my car hit the windscreen,” he said.
He added, “I tried to follow them to Ibadan maybe I would even know where they were going, but I missed them.”
“I feel this is oppression. I just feel the officers are doing beyond themselves…Like, this is a sane country, not that I was threatening their convoy,” he lamented as he said fixing the windscreen would cost him up to N80,000, an amount he never planned for.
“I learnt they could be guarding an individual,” he continued, as he revealed the number plate of one of the vehicles he was able to capture on camera, a black Toyota Hilux SR5 with number plate: RBC-353NW (Abuja).
See the picture of one of the vehicles below:
Corroborating Farombi’s narrative, his travell mate, Oluwseun Akinrele, who chatted with our correspondent on Monday, noted that the event was unfortunate.
“I was in the car with him.
It’s just sad and it’s a case of pure harassment because we weren’t even on their lane, we were on a different lane.
“There was no heavy traffic because it was early in the morning. So they had enough space.”
“Immediately they broke the windscreen, they drove past, we couldn’t get close again. We could only interact with the last vehicle in the convoy and they didn’t attempt to do anything to address the issue,” Akinrele stated.
Another road user, who said he was in another bus on the same expressway, Obatuga Joshua, described the action of the convoy as harassment.
“They drove very recklessly. We were going to Ife. They nearly hit our bus. My driver needed to move to the side of the road. There were about eight to nine cars. We were scared. We had to let all of them leave. I told my driver to just let them go.”
This is “because I have experience with them.
“They were escorting someone, but I don’t know who,” Obatuga told The PUNCH.
He noted that part of the convoy vehicles included some Lexus rx 570 vehicles.
Cases of alleged police brutality are beginning to raise heads, as complaints begin to surface gradually on social media, with some saying the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, has not ended but only rebranded.
A video clip had also surfaced on Twitter where a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team of the police was suspectedly going through through the phone of a member of the public.
Retweeting and reacting to the said video on Sunday via his Twitter handle, the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Muyiwa Adejobi, said, partly, “We have taken up this, yet another case. We have informed the Commissioner of Police, the SWAT, CP Kolo Yusuf, and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, we hope to fish them out asap. Since some of our men are bent on denting the image of the NPF, and deviate from our Standard Operation Procedure, we won’t mind giving them their “doses” and sanctions.”
However, efforts to get the reaction of the Lagos State PPRO, Benjamin Hundeyin, on Farombi’s case, proved abortive as he had yet to respond to calls and text messages sent to him on Monday, as of the time of filing this report.
Also, the Oyo State PPRO, Adewale Osifeso, has not responded to texts sent to him on Monday from our correspondent, on if he has the knowledge of a police team entering Ibadan for any purpose on Sunday.