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Lady shuns FRSC officers at checkpoint for not wearing facemasks

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• Civil Defence officer kills bus driver in Abia
• 18 killed by security operatives in two weeks over lockdown enforcement, says NHRC

The social media was abuzz yesterday following a viral video of a lady who refused to wind down her window or park for officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other security operatives because they weren’t wearing facemasks in Abuja.

In the video, an officer was seen on her bonnet as she attempted to drive away from a checkpoint. She was forced to stop, and the team of FRSC marshals caught up with her. They immediately went on to remove her number plate, as one of the officers also attempted to beat her up.

According to her, she refused to stop for the officers because they weren’t wearing a facemask. In a swift reaction, FRSC authorities announced that a query has been issued to its officials who almost assaulted a lady for speeding off with a policeman on her car’s bonnet in Abuja.

In a statement released by the agency’s Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, ordered the immediate withdrawal of the entire FRSC team involved in the unprofessional and uncivil act.

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The statement reads: “The attention of the Corps has been adequately drawn to a video currently dominating the social media sphere about a motorist who had an encounter with FRSC personnel in the course of carrying out the ongoing enforcement of Presidential/National directive on ‘Stay At Home’

“After a careful study and analysis of the video and what transpired in it, the Corps wishes to inform the public that the following proactive measures have been taken; the Corps Marshal has ordered the immediate withdrawal of the entire FRSC Team involved in the unprofessional and uncivil act.

“The action of the officers involved in that episode is completely contrary to the Core Values and Operational Ethics of the Corps and the Corps frowns at it. The Corps Marshal has directed that the entire team be queried and sanctioned in accordance with FRSC relevant regulations on discipline. The public is therefore called to remain calm and comply with all directives on stay at home and social distancing, and ensure that they cooperate with security operatives detailed to enforce the Presidential Orders.”

Also yesterday, commuters and other road users were stranded for over an hour on the Umuikaa, Isiala Ngwa South LGA axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway as youths protested the killing of a commercial driver by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Isiala Ngwa Division. It was gathered that the commercial motorist carrying perishable and non-perishable food items reportedly had a heated argument with the NSCDC personnel.

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Eyewitnesses said the driver, in the midst of the argument, attempted to drive off when he was shot by the NSCDC official. The incident angered youths in the area, who attempted lynching the NSCDC official. The NSCDC official narrowly escaped death by running into a police station in the area for safety.

According to an eyewitness: “The driver carrying tomatoes among other food items approached the checkpoint where they were enforcing the order of the governor on COVID-19. “We didn’t know what they were discussing initially, but when temper started flaring, the driver was accusing him (NSCDC) personnel of extortion.

“The driver said that he can’t give him more than what he has given (bribe), insisting that the restriction order doesn’t affect drivers carrying food items. When the temper was high, we left and were watching the drama from afar. The driver tried driving off and the next thing we heard was gunshot. We all ran away and by the time we came back, we saw the driver in the pool of his blood.”

The Public Relations Officer of NSCDC Abia State Command, Ndukwe Aguiyi could not be reached for comments, but a source in the command, who craved anonymity, said they had already contacted the Isiala Ngwa Division under whose jurisdiction the incident happened to furnish the headquarter with information over the incident.

The source stated that the command had already set up an investigative committee on the matter, adding that the command doesn’t condone any act of indiscipline and unprofessional behavior among its personnel.

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The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Ene Okon, in a chat, however, confirmed the NSCDC personnel is their custody. Okon said that he has directed the NSCDC official be transferred to the SCID, Umuahia for proper investigation.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said security operatives have killed 18 persons in the course of enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown, while noting that the activities of security agents have also led to the death of about 11 patients under medical care.

The Human rights commission also reports that it has recorded 105 complaints on various human rights violations within the first phase of the 14-days COVID-19 lockdown declared by the Federal Government. Part of the complaints are extra-judicial killings, violation of rights to freedom of movement, unlawful arrest and detention, seizure/confiscation of properties, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), discrimination, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and extortion.

The commission’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, disclosed this through its preliminary report on complaints received and monitored between March 30 to April 13, from 24 out of the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT. While Lagos State has the highest recorded cases of human rights violations with 28 incidents, the FCT, Abuja emerged second with 10 recorded cases. “Security operatives have killed about 18 persons following the enforcement of COVID-19 regulation and lockdown,” the report said.

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In this article:
Boboye OyeyemiFRSCNSCDC
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