Some police officers led by one Inspector A. O. Alaka harassed and allegedly arrested ladies in a commercial bus for talking about the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest and the arrest of the protesters.
The PUNCH gathered that the incident, which has led to an outrage on social media, happened around the Maryland area of Lagos State on Saturday.
In a video obtained by The PUNCH, Inspector Alaka was seen asking other passengers in the bus to alight and ordering the driver not to move.
He was also seen restricting the movement of the ladies as he sought assistance from other persons, suspected to be police officers.
Our correspondent gathered that about 10 police officers later joined him at the scene of the incident.
In the ensuing conversation, the ladies protested the policeman’s action as they challenged him to state their offence.
“Why should I come down? What happened? I have not gotten to my bus stop. You should talk to me politely. Tell us what we did,” one of the ladies shouted.
The officer, who held one of the ladies to prevent her from escaping, said, “You are abusing the Nigerian police”.
Reacting, the Compliant Response Unit of the Nigerian Police, tweeted, “PoliceNG_CRU has taken necessary action regarding the complaint.”
Narrating the incident in a series of tweets, Slim Bullet @Stargious, one of the ladies involved, said, “This happened today (Saturday), a police officer said we were insulting him earlier this evening because we were talking about the protests and how @mrmacaronii and others have been treated badly by the @PoliceNG.
“We didn’t even realise he was on the same bus till my friend got down and he held her and said we would have to come down and follow him to the station for just talking (since when did they take away our freedom of speech?)
“This man called other police officers standing at the Maryland bus stop and they all came around to further harass us.
“He was going to break my phone so I stopped recording, and we literally had to apologise for talking. In Nigeria, we had to apologise for just talking about the #EndSARS and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria protest, we were not even actively involved.”
Slim Bullet explained that it took the intervention of bystanders to save them from passing the night in the police cell.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mention earlier that the bystanders were actually the ones who started begging all the police officers on our behalf and also stopped them from taking the three of us to the cell tonight. Also, they were more than 10 officers there. He wasn’t alone.”
Many Nigerians, on social media, have condemned the police officers’ actions.
One of them, @seun_ade24, said, “The officer went overboard.”
“The day the rights of other citizens are respected by the government and security agencies, that’s when Nigeria can be a better place that we all wish. Why on earth does he want to take the ladies to the station? Oh! Just for criticising the government!” @youngpey added.
Taita @simingi “@PoliceNG are gradually trying to censor our freedom and tell us how to talk, think and behave.”
Amanda @amandaergoyoga said, “This is disgusting! So, people can’t talk now? I think people need to truly wake up from slumber. All this violence will only breed further violence and pain, if they don’t stop all this rubbish.”