The Guardian journalist harassed by officers of Makinde police station
Some men of the Nigeria Police Force attached to Makinde Police Station, Oshodi, Lagos State, yesterday harassed The Guardian newspapers correspondent, Seye Olumide, while on official duty.
Driving through Makinde Street, Olumide was stopped at a roadblock in front of the police station by some officers and members of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) on duty. While trying to identify himself to the men who had stopped him, two other officers jumped out of a police vehicle right behind him and began manhandling him.
Narrating his ordeal, Olumide said: “At about 3:08p.m. yesterday, while driving to the office through Makinde Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi, I met a road barricade manned by some officers and members of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) right in front of Makinde Police Station. I introduced myself but was told to turn back. I tried to explain to the officers that I was on essential duty but none of them listened to me.
“In the process, a bus carrying some officers had queued behind my vehicle and the occupants were shouting on top of their voices that I should leave the road. But there was no way I could have reversed or made a turn, just as it was impossible for me to climb the barricade.”
Olumide further said: “Suddenly, two gun-wielding officers came down from the bus and tried to deflate my front and back tyre. At that point, I alighted from the car to explain to them there was no way I could turn since their vehicle was at the back and a barricade in front. One of the armed officers suddenly grabbed my clothe by the neck, dragged me to my car and hit my head on the body of the car, threatening to shoot.
“While this was on, the officers and the LNSC corps manning the barricade who had stopped me kept shouting at me: ‘You will just die for nothing.’ Some of them even threatened to confiscate my car at the station.”
Trouble was, however, averted when another humane police officer, who had apparently been watching from afar, sauntered out of the station and ordered that the barricade be removed for Olumide to go since there was no space for him to move his vehicle out of the way for the charging officers.
Olumide had since lodged a complaint with the Lagos State Police spokesman, Bala Elkana, who promised to contact the station’s DPO for necessary verification and action.”