Police Brutality: Port Harcourt Residents Share Stories Of Brutal Encounters

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Florence Uwaeme

Police Brutality has been an issue in all parts of Nigeria. The rate at which innocent people are killed by the same people meant to protect them is alarmingly unbecoming.

Few days ago in Port Harcourt, a mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, was killed and tagged a criminal by the men of the Nigerian police with four other mechanics in detention which have led to widespread protests by well meaning colleagues of the deceased mechanic.

This isn’t the first time men of the Nigerian police force are caught in the vile act of decimating citizens even for the flimsiest reason possible. In September last year, they beat up a popular radio journalist for trying to save a poor boy they were harassing.

Some residents of Port Harcourt have shared their stories about their experiences with police brutality.

“A brother of mine was illegally abducted by SARS for an offense he never committed; taken to a corner and brutally beaten. Up till now, he’s running from one hospital to another because his eardrum has been damaged.
The abductors are pleading for mercy… If there’s a way this matter can get to the top, I’ll be grateful… Justice, we must always seek!”

“Some years ago, some police officers forcefully collected my phone from me on the street and asked me to go and bring the receipt of the phone, I thought it was a joke but before I could know what was happening they zoomed off in their Van and that was how I lost the phone to the criminals. “

“Police came to my house arrested me, when we got to their station they said they were looking for one bad boy. I was later bailed with the sum of 60, 000000. Some days I saw the same policemen that arrested me with the same bad boy they were looking for drinking beer.“

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“Last week Friday beside shining light fast food Rukpokwu around 8.40pm, that was how policeman pointed gun to the taxi driver because he refused to give him N50. That if any passenger try to step down he will shot. The question is how many Nigeria police is educated talk more of understanding what human life is all about.”

“ on the elele/imo route, a policeman delayed us after checking our papers and finding nothing, he asked for ‘fuel money’. My husband refused and he the policeman held on to our papers and told us we were going to remain there until we produced the fuel money. My husband was adamant and refused to pay up. We were there till dark until they got tired of detaining us and then finally released us. These people are worse than armed rubbers. This country is worse than a jungle. “

“I was beaten by a group of policemen at market junction. They drove one way and stopped the bus driver, when they noticed I was recording their action they chased me and beat me up.”

“I was stopped and asked to enter their car with my newborn baby, I refused and people started pleading for me at the end of the day I bailed myself with 10,000 naira”.

“We called police to salvage an accident situation, they got here ignored the victim and started arresting everyone”.

“An asthmatic man was arrested for making a call, the policeman hit his chest and he started bleeding profusely, they continued beating him and threatened to kill him”.