“THEY DRAGGED ME DOWN FROM THE STAIRS, STRIPPED ME NAKED AND GAVE ME THE BEATING OF MY LIFE”: MR. AREMU SEGUN KUTI, ABUJA BUSINESSMAN NARRATES HOW NIGERIAN ARMY OFFICERS BRUTALLY ASSAULTED HIM ON BEHALF OF THEIR CIVILIAN FRIENDS.
Max lerner once said: “We can not live by power, and a culture that seeks to live by it becomes brutal and sterile”. Professor Chinua Achebe once told an audience in America that “Nigeria is an example of a power-driven system. The common man on the street wants to display his superioty to another fellow. The military looks for any opportunity to remind the civilian who they should be protecting that they have some ‘brutal’ powers. The only people who are not caught in the web of this power-show is the power sector of Nigeria. They have chosen to remain humble.” Mr. Aremu Segun Kuti is the latest victim of military brutallity in Abuja and here is his ‘unedited’ story:
“At about 1.46pm on Monday 21st April , 2014, while driving in my car in company of my wife’s friend to a meeting suddenly I heard a hit behind on my car FORD ESCAPE 2013/2014 Edition. Lo and behold it was one young man by name Efiom E Okokon who claims he works with NNPC headquarters in Abuja driving in his Toyota Camry with a lady in the car. He first admitted to fix my car by calling his Panel Beater but my own car is a Brand New SUV which is being handled by COSCHARIS MOTORS. I called Coscharis Motors but was asked to bring the car to their office on Tuesday 22nd April, 2014.
I then asked the young man to write an undertaken admitting in principle to be liable and responsible but amazingly, he refused. I
because uncomfortable with his disposition and he noticed. Then as God would work in my Favour, he willingly gave me his staff ID Card. I got hold of the card while we both gentlemanly, agreed for him to fix the car. We drove out of the scene of the auto-crash. Unknowingly to me as we’re driving towards A.Y.A in Asokoro, he had invited two of his friends or brothers to join him in assaulting me so as to intimidate me. On getting to A.Y.A junction, I stopped for us to discuss based on the agreement on how to settle amicably but here he demanded for his ID Card which I did not oblige him. I instead gave him a condition to write and sign an undertaken so I could return his ID Card to him. Then he was out for trouble.
The meeting I was supposed to have at Kubwa was scheduled for 2pm. Therefore, I pleaded with him to follow me to the meeting because some dignitaries were waiting for. I got to the meeting venue. The young man Efiom would not alight from his car but his two
military friends came down from his car and accosted me. I asked them to give me a minute to address those waiting for me. I was moving and suddenly on the staircase to the meeting, they dragged me downwards the staircase, tore my new lace (traditional dress)
bought by my wife for the Easter celebration and gave me thorough beaten.
At this juncture, I didn’t know they were military personnel. Immediately, my wife’s friend in my car ran to invite Policemen nearby to rescue my life and before long people gathered and then Policemen came. It took Police several couple of minutes to calm them down. They were bragging, insulting, cursing and molesting my personality for doing nothing. I suffered not just physical injuries but also psychological injuries.
They wouldn’t obey the Police to be taken to the Police Station whereas I quickly drove in my car with a Police Inspector to lay complaint.The two young military personnel one by name flight officer FEMI ADEMULEGUN and the other Lieutenant Efiom or so called other military colleagues one of them is Lieutenant SIMPA of the Nigerian Army. Although, SIMPA first came to plead and at the same time harassing me telling me there is morning I could do and I should go anywhere I wanted to.”
Africa Thisday is in touch with Mr. Aremu Segun Kuti. A South African based vibrant gospel preacher and a social activist, Evangelist
Charles Awuzie told Africa Thisday: “It is high time that Africa confronted military and police brutallity with justice. I will stand beside the
oppressed and the suppressed until their trampled fundamental human rights are restored. I urge every African to seek for justice
whenever their fundamental human rights are abused or raped. I seek for the repair of Mr. Aremu’s car, his health to be taken care of and that the military officers involved in the assault should be brought to book. No man is above the law. No more in Africa will it be heard that injustice is greeted with timidity. No more!”
A 31-year-old lady, who was detained at a divisional police station on Lagos Island, has accused the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the station of raping her. The lady, identified simply as Miss Akinwunmi, alleged that the DPO, a Superintendent of Police (SP), instructed one Inspector Ajiduwe to bring her to his office for debriefing of her case.
The DPO (names withheld) allegedly pounced on the lady and raped her after Ajiduwe left the office. Akinwunmi, who claimed she was arrested on April 15, about 1am, added that she was reported to the police by her ‘madam,’ identified as Mrs Pelumi, who runs a local cafeteria at number 11, Keffi Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
“I was detained in the cell and about 10pm, one Inspector Ajiduwe brought me out and took me to the DPO’s office, where he raped me in his office without protection. He threatened to send me to prison if I tell anyone. I later paid N10,000 to the policemen at the station for my bail,” the lady said. Akinwunmi, who gave the name of her Investigating Police Officer (IPO) as one Inspector Taiwo, complained that since the rape incident, she had been experiencing stomach pains.
A police source said the DPO was fond of raping female detainees in his custody. “This is the fourth time he has been accused of raping detainees in his care,” the source added. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Briade, said it was a grievous allegation.
She added that the police hierarchy was still investigating allegation. But the Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN Foundation), a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), which has taken up the matter, said that the girl and her boyfriend yesterday were trying to get police report that would enable them go to a general hospital for a medical examination.
NOPRIN’s spokesman, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said he had spoken with the girl and she confirmed the story. He said: “The boyfriend said that they are both ready to fight and seek justice. The DPO and I spoke.
Although he denied the allegation as expected, his voice was trembling and he was panicking. I have asked the girl to go for a medical examination. “NOPRIN is shocked at the information it received today from Miss Akinwunmi that a DPO raped her in his office on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
“She said that the DPO forcefully had carnal knowledge of her without protection in his office after he had threatened to send her to prison. She was released after the IPO, one Inspector Taiwo, extorted the sum of N10,000 from her. “Now, she complains of severe stomach pains following the said sexual abuse by the DPO. “NOPRINI has inquired from the DPO.
Although he naturally denied the allegation, but his shaky voice and incoherent speech betrays a sense of guilt. He also said the victim could come back and collect the N10,000 bribe they extorted from her after raping her.
“NOPRIN commends ACP Edgal Imohimid, Area Commander, Lion Building, for ensuring that the victim gets a police report to enable her to go for medical examination and report. This was initially denied her by the officers she met at the station before NOPRIN called on the area commander to intervene.”