The Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) has appealed to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, to intervene in an alleged case of brutality meted out to Mrs Adegbite Damilola by officers of Oyo State Police Command.
ISDM Executive Director, Mr Chima Amadi, while briefing newsmen on Friday in Abuja, alleged that Damilola lost her first pregnancy after 10 years of marriage due to police brutality. Amadi also appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to ensure that the victim got justice.
He said that the incident occurred on August 11, 2015 at Akobo Police Station, Ibadan. ”The actions of the police at all stages breached legally established procedures for arrest and detention. ”The police breached the legal requirement that a person to be arrested must be promptly informed of his or her offence. ”The police also violated the victim’s constitutional right not to be treated in a manner that degrades her human dignity.
”By subjecting her to such malevolent treatment, the police already presumed her guilty and began to mete out punishment to her,” he said. Amadi said that going by the reason which the police later gave for their unlawful arrest and maltreatment of the victim, her offence could not be anything more than malicious damage.
In her narration, Damilola, said that on August 11, 2015, a female police officer from Akobo Police Station, came to arrest her in her Ibadan residence. She said she requested to know why she was being arrested and the police woman left and came back with re-enforcements. Damilola said that on arrival at the police station, she was told she resisted arrest and would be locked up. ”I sought to call my husband but the officers got infuriated and started beating me. ”I was kicked in the stomach and I started bleeding and was dragged into a cell,” she said. She said she fainted in the cell and was taken to a hospital where she was confirmed to have lost her pregnancy. Damilola said that she later learnt that a report of removal of a signboard in her neighbourhood was brought to the station of which the complainant absolved her of involvement.
She said that two of her neighbours were later identified by the complainant as those who removed the said signboard. She said that she was driven in police car from the hospital in the guise of going for settlement only to be taken to a Magistrates’ Court. She said she was charged with Assault on a Police Officer, adding that it took the intervention of a lawyer who sympathised with her before she was granted bail.
ISDMG demanded that a public apology be tendered to the couple, among other things. ”That reasonable compensation be paid to the victim; seeing that no amount of money can bring back the couple’s lost child after ten years of waiting.
”That adequate punishment be meted out to the officers involved, and the information should also be made public.
”That the criminal charge brought against the victim be withdrawn by the police. ”We urge the inspector-general of police to also use this to demonstrate his commitment to wiping out abuse of power and brutality in the police. ”We urge that the Executive Secretary, NHRC, intervene in the matter and personally pursue this case to a logical conclusion by ensuring that justice is manifestly done,” Amadi said.
Amadi said that the police brutality was unwarranted and unjustifiable and called for appropriate disciplinary measures. He said that the Oyo State Commissioner of Police (CP) had held meetings with the parties involved to facilitate the resolution of the case. When contacted for comments, DSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, the Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Police Command, said that the CP had ordered an investigation into the matter. “I can assure you that the victim will get justice,’’ Ajisebutu said.