A 37-year-old woman, Risikat Bamidele, is currently receiving treatment at the Ogun State Hospital, Ijaiye after policemen allegedly tortured her on Saturday for making phone call at a police station. Risikat reportedly lost her nine weeks old pregnancy at the Kemta-Idi Aba police station where her husband, Tunde is being detained.
Risikat, while narrating her ordeals on the hospital bed, said, she was harassed by a policeman on the orders of the Divisional Police Officer for making phone calls.
She alleged that the policeman slapped her several times, while she was being pushed behind the counter.
She said before her encounter with the DPO, she was trying to call her in-law who is based in Abuja on the arrest of her husband.Risikat was said to have fainted when she got to her place of work, Catholic Comprehensive High School, Onikolobo.
Her husband said Risikat started bleeding while she was still behind the counter at the station.
Speaking at the state hospital, Risikat said:
“When I got to the police station, my husband gave me his phone that I should call his brother. While I was calling his brother, I saw one policeman, I did not know he was the DPO. He told me that I was stupid for making calls in the police environment around after eight o’clock.
“He later called a policeman to arrest me. I was harassed, pushed and brutalised. My husband saw what they were doing to me and he told them that I was pregnant and begged them not to touch me.
“But, the DPO turned deaf ears, saying they will take me to Eleweran the following day. I asked him what my offence was because I did not know what I did wrong. I was begging them to release me because my husband was in their custody and there was nobody at home to take care of my children. They collected my phone, I could not call anybody, it was my neighbour that took care of my children.
“In the midnight, I was having stomach pain, I called the policeman at the counter that I was having pains in my stomach but he said there was nothing he could do. After some hours, I discovered I was bleeding, I tried explaining things to the policeman on duty but he did not listen. My husband later gave me money to get sanitary pad.
“The next morning, I was released by the policeman. They told me that he did not have right to detain me but because I did not give the DPO the phone that was why I was detained. They said, I have learnt a lesson that when an elderly man talks to me, I should answer immediately.
“I was planning to go to the hospital the following day so that I can get drugs but I went to my office to sign before going to the hospital. It was there that I collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor confirmed that I had lost my nine weeks pregnancy.”
It was gathered that policemen attached to the police station had arrested her husband, Tunde, and three others including two suppliers and a contractor at Iyana Mortuary area of Abeokuta.
Tunde and the two suppliers, Ade and Olowookere, it was learned, were being owed over N500,000 by their contractor, who was identified as Bolaji, the owner of TSF Nigeria Limited.
He said he agreed to meet with Bolaji at Iyana Mortuary, before he informed Ade and Olowookere, who were also being owed for supplying materials at a construction site at Laderin Workers’ Estate, Abeokuta.
He added that he, alongside Ade and Olowookere were arrested by policemen who were brought by Bolaji at Iyana Mortuary.
He said he tried informing the policemen that his wife was pregnant, adding:
“He (DPO) commanded one police officer to bring me out of the cell, remove my clothes, pour water on my body and use tear-gas on me. I told him that I am ulcer and diabetes patient that if they want to kill me, it was better they knew.
“My wife and Bolaji slept at the back of the counter while I, Olowookere and Ade slept in the cell,” Tunde said.
He said the four of them were released on Sunday after paying N5,000 as bail for each person.
In is reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the police command was not aware of the incident.
He said: “We are not aware of the matter. No one has informed us about the incident, except you newsmen. If it is true, the Commissioner of Police will be interested in the matter. We will check on the affected woman if the command is informed. The family should inform the Police about the issue and we will take it up from there.”