A 100-level student of Criminology at National Open University, Michael Bamisaye, is currently battling wounds allegedly inflicted on his head by three policemen attached to a police post around the NAHCO Bus Stop, Airport Road, Lagos State.
One of the policemen had reportedly hit him with the butt of his gun, until he passed out. They subsequently fled the scene with a parcel found on him.
Saturday Punch learnt that Bamisaye’s elder brother, Opeyemi, who lives in South Africa, had asked a friend to help deliver the parcel to him. It reportedly contained four iPhones, two Infinix phones and clothes.
Bamisaye said he had collected the package at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport from his brother’s friend, Dupe Adesina, and was at the bus stop with eight others around 11pm, waiting for a cab when the policemen approached him.
He said his plight started when the cops, one of whom he identified as Ali Makinta, demanded to know the content of the parcel and he offered them to check.
Bamisaye said, “They took offence and started shouting at me. They scared other people standing at the bus stop away. When they wanted to drag me to the station, I asked them why they were arresting me. One of them said, ‘you want to claim rights?’ They dragged me and one of them hit me with the butt of his gun until I fainted. Immediately they noticed I was bleeding in the head, they fled with the parcel, my wallet and phone.”
A Punch correspondent gathered that a soldier, Captain Meshach Akinleye, saw 28-year-old Bamisaye writhing in pains while passing along the road in his car and stopped to rescue him.
“After the soldier helped me to get my phone back at the police station, I called Dupe (Adesina) that delivered the package to me and she followed me to the station. We requested to write a statement but they didn’t listen to us. They returned it intact and told us to go. But the N50,000 in my wallet is still missing.
“Their expectation was that I would bleed to death so they could have the package. It contained four iPhones, two Infinix phones and some clothes. It had a receipt, which we showed them. Those policemen should be dismissed,” Bamisaye added.
Captain Akinleye, who spoke with our correspondent on Thursday on the telephone, described the officers’ conduct as unprofessional. He said the policemen had threatened to shoot him when he went to the station to know what transpired between them and the victim.
He said, “I had to help the man (Bamisaye) because he had already been hit with a weapon and he was bleeding. He passed out initially. What could he have done to warrant assault when he is not a criminal? It is absurd and ridiculous.
“As I was approaching the police post, the policemen shouted at me to stop and threatened to shoot if I moved further. I stopped and demanded to speak with the officer in charge.
“When they knew I am a security agent, they opened the gate for me. I asked them what the man did and they said he was rude to them. They said they asked him a question but he was nasty and called them all sorts of names. I didn’t take sides with anybody.
“I collected his phone from them and there were so many missed calls there. I took him in my car to where he boarded a taxi and paid his fare. Had it been I didn’t see him that night, he could have died because the place was quiet. What they did to him was totally unacceptable; and they need to be prosecuted.”
Adesina, who brought the parcel from South Africa, said she was dismayed by the conduct of the policemen when she went with Bamisaye to the station.
“I gave him the parcel that night. He called me around 1am and explained what happened. I hadn’t taken my bath nor eaten. I had to go to the station. The policemen said he was arguing with them and I begged them.
“They said they would have shot him in the leg. I was surprised why policemen would treat a citizen they are supposed to protect in such manner,” Adesina told Saturday Punch.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, SP Dolapo Badmos, promised to get back to our correspondent with comments on the incident but had not done so by the time the paper went to bed while she did not pick subsequent calls.