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Police brutalise The Guardian staff, others in Rivers

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Despite the protests against police brutality across the nation, police personnel in Rivers State have continued to perpetuate inhumane acts against the media in the state.

The Guardian Circulation Officer in the state, Mr. Andortan Romeo, his THISDAY and News Telegraph counterparts, Abel Jumbo and Joe Etim, were yesterday attacked by officers of the Eagle Crack Unit of the Mile One Police Division while carrying out their official duties.

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The victims said that they introduced themselves to the officers but the moment they displayed their identity cards for confirmation, the police officers became angry, started hitting them, and torturing them, alleging that the media were carrying fake news against the police.

According to Romeo: “We showed them our identity cards and they got infuriated, started beating and torturing us. They asked us to kneel down and later took Etim to their station to cut grass.”

Corroborating Romeo’s statement, Jumbo said: “I have not been able to access my office for the past five days now. The E-crack police officers at the Mile one police division have been torturing us despite showing them our identity cards as the media men.

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“They were so angry with us saying we have been reporting fake news against them. After beating us, they asked some of us to kneel down for several hours while they took some to their station to cut grass.”

When contacted, the Spokesman of the State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, said he was very busy to look into the matter and later requested that the victims see him in his office tomorrow (today).

Meanwhile, the state’s Police Commissioner, Joseph Mukan, has lamented that a police officer serving in Afam Police Station, Sgt. Umunna Uchechukwu’s leg and hand were cut off and burnt to ashes by hoodlums.

Mukan, who stated this while briefing journalists, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, said 21 suspects had been arrested in connection with the attack in Oyibo Local Council of the state.

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He reiterated that three policemen were killed while three police stations were burnt.

He said: “Consequently, deployments were made to forestall further breakdown of law and order. And as we speak, there is relative peace in the Oyigbo Local Council, as we will continue to closely monitor the area amid the curfew imposed by the state government.”

The state police boss, who reassured of his commitment to rid the state of all manners of crime and criminality, said: “I promise to sustain the existing peace in the state and appeal for support and co-operation from the public.

“Let me also sound it loud and clear that those who find pleasure in destroying private and public property to have a rethink or else, someday the law will catch up with them. No offender will be left unpunished.”

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