Legal Nigeria

Lawyer battles to regain sight after police assault

A Lagos lawyer identified as Sunday Elimihe, 42, is currently battling partial blindness after he was allegedly beaten up  by some policemen attached to the Onipanu Division in Lagos.
Elimihe was rushed to the Shomolu General Hospital Thursday, after he was assaulted by some policemen because he refused to give them N1,000 bribe.
The lawyer also claimed that his attackers collected N150,000 he kept in his car’s pigeon hole and urged President Muhamadu Buhari and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to rescue innocent Nigerians from daily police brutality.
Trouble was said to have started after a certain Corporal Alonge accused the victim of using forged tinted glass permit.
Reliving his ordeal from his hospital bed, Elimihe said that he was beaten for 30 minutes inside the cell, after a policewoman collected Alonge’s gun who had threatened to shoot him.
He said: “On my way coming from Lekki where I went to check a property with my client, I decided to use the Onipanu police station road, by Apata.
“Immediately I drove into the street close to the station, one Corporal Alonge stopped me, demanded for my vehicle particulars. I gave them to him, then he demanded for my driver’s license, which  I also gave him.
“When he discovered I did not commit any offence, he asked for my tinted glass permit which I gave him. He told me I was using a forged tinted glass permit. I told him I could not have forged a police document as a lawyer.
“He became furious and said he was going to arrest me. He jumped into my vehicle and insisted I must give him N1,000 to bail myself. I said I was not going to give him any money since I have not committed any offence.
“He pounced on me and cocked his gun threatening to shoot me if I make a move. Another policewoman who sighted us came and dragged the gun from him.
“The policeman after being disarmed descended on me and gave me the beating of my life. He pushed me into the cell and another policeman came inside the cell, locked up the cell and beat me for 30 minutes.
“I see this as intimidation of the highest order, not because I am a lawyer, but because I am an average Nigerian. I was humiliated like a common criminal.
“This is oppression. One of my eyes is partially blind. I have been vomiting blood since yesterday. It was the intervention of a good policeman in the station who warned them not to kill me. I would have been dead by now,” he said.
Efforts to get the command’s spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police  (SP) for official comment failed as at press time
However, it was gathered that the state Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni has summoned the officers at the command’s headquarters for interrogation.