Paul Orude, Bauchi
The father of Abdulwahab Bello, who survived alleged torture by the Divisional Police Officer of Township Police Station (names withheld), which led to the death of two persons, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to ensure that justice is served.
Bello, who was brought by his father and PIDI-NIGERIA to the NUJ Secretariat in Bauchi on Monday in a tricycle, said that he miraculously survived the beating of the trio by the DPO.
He said that it all started a fortnight ago when they were arrested by the police for the theft of chickens belonging to a retired police officer.
He said that he was on the way when he met two of his friends, Ibrahim Kapala and Ibrahim Babangida, who were looking for buyers and that he suggested to them that he had a customer at the Kids Lawal Market.
Abdulwahab, who said he did know that they were stolen chickens, took Kapala and Babangida to the Muda Lawal Market where they disposed of them.
Shortly after the incident, he added, he was arrested with his two friends and taken to the police station where the buyer of the chicken was also arrested. The matter, he said, was settled and they were asked to pay for stolen chickens.
‘They said that we should pay the money for the two chickens and my father brought the N4,000 to them and the DPO told my father to go that they will release me. We came out and he asked us to go to the back of the police station and we did and he asked us to lie down on the ground with our stomachs, so he ordered that the first person that died, Ibrahim Kapala, should be tied.
‘When the DPO asked his other policemen to tie him and I was watching with my eyes while they tied him. When they tied him, he went into his office and brought out a pistol and as soon as he got to where he was, he started hitting Ibrahim with it and broke his right leg and then broke his left leg. Some of the police were there and none of them could say a word.
While he was beating him, he was saying that: “Today, stealing of chickens has ended”; and he continued beating him and he fainted. After he fainted, he started hitting him with his shoe even though he was motionless.
The DPO said to him: “Are you dead? It is even better that you have died”; and he ordered that the second person be brought to him. Immediately he was brought, he descended on him also and broke his leg and then he took that pistol and started hitting him with it on his chest and his back, he too fainted.’
Abdulwahab said that while his friends were being beaten, he knew the DPO would do the same thing to him and he had concluded that he was dead.
He said: ‘While that was happening, I just concluded that since that was happening to my friends, the same beating and treatment would be done to me. My thought was that they would kill me too because my friend was lying down there motionless and he was telling him to die; so, I just gave up and was waiting for his time.’
He denied allegations by the police that they were serial thieves who have been terrorising residents of the area and other areas, saying that ‘anybody that told you that I have been doing that is lying to you.’
The father of the surviving victim, Alhaji Bello Muhktar, who spoke with journalists, accused the DPO of taking the law into his hands.
He called on the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the matter and to ensure that the DPO, who is accused of murdering the two young men and inflicting serious life-threatening injuries on his son, Abdulwahab, is brought to book.
‘For the police to do this kind of thing, one day, this nation will not know peace. When a policeman takes the law into his hands and kills your son, tomorrow, if you see him, what would you do to him? You too might take the law into your hands. Just as he killed your son, you’ll also want to do the same to him.
‘Because of this, I am pleading with the Inspector-General of Police to take action on this type of policeman.
‘What I have spent so far in treating him is more than N50,000. This has not been easy with me at all, and one of his sisters has also been helpful in footing his medical bills.’