A lawyer, Ekpagu Chikadibia-Christian says he was mercilessly beaten and arrested by police officers while trying to secure bail for a client.
He narrated his ordeal during the second sitting of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Ebonyi state government to look into police brutality, human rights violations, and related extra-judicial killings in Abakalliki, the Ebonyi state capital.
The lawyer who was the first petitioner told the panel that he got a call from his client to help him secure bail for his neighbour who was in police custody at a police Division located in Abakaliki.
According to him, on getting to the police station, he introduced himself as a lawyer and explained why he came. Surprisingly, the first thing they asked him was money for detergent and disinfectant.
While telling the officers he has no money and was not prepared for such, the police officers told him to go and pushed away.
However, as the conversation was going on, the Division Police officer sent his orderly to know what was happening, “as I was trying to explain myself the policemen at the charge room came out and started beating me and arrested me on the pool of my blood on the order of the DPO even as I was bleeding from my mouth, nose and ears,” the lawyer stated.
He added: “I was taken to police cell with my clothing torn into pieces and my phone was taken away from me. I couldn’t make a call to anyone to come to my rescue at the moment. I was paraded and taken to Police headquarters.
“The policemen that assaulted me were charged and meant to compensate me for unlawful parade, arrest and violating my fundamental human rights. Ekpagu noted that after some weeks nothing was done and out of frustration he had to file a fundamental human rights suit against the Policemen at the Federal High court”.
He further stated that the court delivered judgement in his favour and awarded the sum of N6,050,000 (six million, fifty thousand naira) against the police for the breach of his fundamental rights.
According to Chikadibia-Christian, police are yet to pay him upon the court judgement delivered in his favour.
The legal practitioner stressed that the Federal High Court recently dismissed an application filed by the respondent for a stay of execution and additional N30,000 (thirty thousand naira) was awarded again.
He prayed that the panel will help order the payment of N6,000,080,000 (six million, eighty thousand naira) to him as a victim of police brutality.