A police Constable, Ophedo Chidera, yesterday allegedly battered a middle-aged man, Chidiebere Azuatalam, at Anara Divisional Police Headquarters in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State for allegedly insulting policemen on duty by offering a miserly N5,000 for bail.
The victim, a Good Samaritan, had gone to the police division to effect the bail of a widow, Akudo Chimezie, who was arrested by the police. The cop had held the widow in detention and had allegedly insisted that she must pay him N10,000 to regain her freedom. Azuatalam got wind of the plight of the widow and had gone to offer help when he was beaten upon by the policeman.
The victim told journalists from his hospital bed that the policeman had asked him to bring N10,000 as a bribe for the widow’s bail. Azuatalam said he pleaded with the constable to take N5,000 and release the widow, an appeal that infuriated the cop and he descended on him.
He said: “When I got to the police station, the IPO asked me to bring N10,000 before he will free the widow. I told him to take N5,000 because of the window’s pitiable financial condition. He immediately got angry and asked me to leave his presence. I told him to calm down, reminding him that the Inspector General of Police said that bail is free.
“He immediately charged at me, using every weapon within his reach to inflict injuries on me. He broke my lips, jaw, chins. My eyes were equally affected. He threatened that if he shoots me, nothing will happen. It was another police officer who came out from one of the offices that rescued me from him.
As I speak to you, my teeth are shaking and I have pains all over my body.” Community sources said the cop, Chidera, was notorious for being exploitative, lawless and violent. They also hinted there is a tree beside the division where some of the people smoke.
But the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Orlando Ikeokwu, told our correspondent that the Police Complaint Bureau would handle the incident