Journalist Alleges Police Brutality in Kaduna, Sustains Eye Injury.

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By Daniel Peters.

The Kaduna State Correspondent for the Daily Times, Mr. Idibia Gabriel, alleges he sustained an eye injury due to arrest, torture, and inhumane treatment by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in Kaduna state.

In a statement, Mr. Gabriel reported that he was arrested and taken to the CID police station at Gabasawa solely for taking a snapshot of a large number of cattle near the Valid Oil filling station on the popular Kachia expressway at U/Boro, Kaduna, on June 11, 2024, around 8:30 a.m. He was released later that evening.

According to Mr. Gabriel, the cattle were being shepherded by the police.

He added that he was released with one eye nearly blinded as a result of “the torture, unholy, and merciless treatment” he endured while in police custody at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Kaduna branch office.

Mr. Gabriel explained that he had approached two police officers before taking the snapshot of the cattle to use the photo as proof for clarifying with the state police command spokesman about the arrest of the cattle, numbering over 50. He stated that his actions were in line with journalistic norms.

He further disclosed that police detectives deleted the snapshot from his handset and took his details, including his contact number, address, and a description of his residence, before releasing him on self-recognition.

“I arrived at my residence on foot at about 9:30 p.m., in the U/Boro, Sabon Tasha suburb, an area about 6 kilometers from Kaduna main town, where I was arrested and kept since the morning of Tuesday, June 11, 2024,” he recounted.

Revealing his ordeal, Mr. Gabriel added, “I was arrested and taken to Gabasawa, CID police station for taking a snapshot of a large number of cattle shepherded by police around Valid Oil filling station, along Kachia expressway, after identifying myself, without a kobo on me.

“When I rushed out of my house upon hearing of the heavy traffic holdup caused by cattle and police on Kachia road, around the new market U/Boro, I had no money on me.

“My phone and ID card were seized before I was taken into a police van and driven to the Abattoir area of U/Pama road, where they assembled and kept the cattle before taking me to the CID office on Ibrahim Taiwo road, in Kaduna main town.

“Upon arrival at the Investigation Police Officers (IPO) office at the CID office, I received a blow to the left side of my eye from one of the police officers I had met on Kachia road before taking the snapshot of the cattle.

“All I remember is speaking with the same officer who hit me in their office on Kachia road, then leaving him for his colleague. Both officers ignored my attempts to greet them when I ran to them on the road,” he stated.

“I withdrew from following them for further inquiry when all efforts to get their response proved abortive, even after introducing myself as a journalist and taking a snapshot of the cattle. My handset was immediately seized by another officer coming from that direction.

“I immediately presented my ID card to further prove my identity as a journalist, which was also seized by another police officer. I was then asked to enter their van, and they drove away, shouting and threatening me,” he added.

Upon arrival at their office, “I was asked to write my statement. I pleaded to be allowed access to my phone to call someone before doing so, but a female police officer in mufti denied me access to my phone, insisting she would not give it back until I finished writing my statement.

“Even when I pleaded that I could not see well with one eye closed due to the injury from the blow, I was taken outside the statement office and coerced to write my statement by force,” he said.

After his release, Mr. Gabriel went straight to the office of the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kaduna State police command, Mansir Hassan, a few minutes’ walk from the CID office. He waited and met him.

He said that after explaining his ordeal, the PPRO, who was in a hurry preparing to leave, denied any knowledge of his arrest but promised to investigate the matter. However, the police spokesman failed to follow up until the time of filing this report.
Efforts by our correspondent to get the reaction of the police command in kaduna to the issue proved abortive as several phone calls made the command’s image maker were not responded to as at the time of this report.
Edited by Dawud Ahmed.

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