One injured as police, soldiers clash in Ebonyi
A Military officer attached to the Commandant of the Nkwoagu Military Cantonment yesterday allegedly beat a police traffic warden to a pulp for refusing to pardon a tricycle operator popularly called Keke NAPEP, who reportedly violated traffic laws.
The incident, which took place in front of Romchi Motor Park, along the busy Afikpo Road, Abakaliki, caused gridlock and attracted scores of on-lookers. An eyewitness, Uchenna Nweke told The Guardian that the yet-to-be-identified soldier on mufti had reportedly pleaded with the traffic warden to pardon the Keke operator so that he would not cause any hindrance to commuters.
“The soldier told the traffic officer to respect him and allow the tricycle operator to go. He said the traffic officer was an elderly man and he expected him to respect himself and others. The man listened and cleared from the place but another traffic officer started dragging the tricycle with the owner”, Nweke said.
He said the soldier still made a similar plea to the traffic officer but he ignored him. “The traffic warden said he would like to know who the soldier was and what he thought he could do. That provoked the soldier to slap him and beat him terribly”.
The eyewitness said it was in the process of torturing the traffic officer that the soldier reportedly phoned his colleagues, who arrived the scene and some mobile policemen also came to rescue their fellow policeman
It took the intervention of some road-users, who parked their vehicles along the road, for both parties to embrace peace while the battered traffic warden, was reportedly rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi State Command, DSP George Okafor, while confirming the incident, said the police had been alerted and normalcy had since been restored.
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