By Ismaeel Uthman
Ms. Tola Azeez, who was beaten by some
policemen last Saturday in Iwo, State of
Osun has disclosed that the policeman that started the assault on her is notorious for such act in the city.
According to Azeez who gave the name of the said policeman as Taiwo Ikuesan, the cop is known for molesting residents of Iwo, alleging that he recently beat an aged woman.
Azeez, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER on Monday, explained that she left home on Saturday to get drugs from her father’s pharmacy for her daughter who had infections on her ear.
She stated that she was sitting at the front of a house, expecting a motorcycle to carry her when Ikuesan came and asked her what she was doing there.
The battered woman said: “The policeman met me sitting down in front of a house. He asked if I was living there and I told him no and added that I had an explanation for being where he met me. He did not listen; he just took out a long cane and started flogging me with it.
“I was trying to explain what brought me out but the more I tried, the more he beat me. He then dragged me to where the police patrol vehicle was parked, where others joined in beating me. I told them I am a woman and that I should not be treated in that manner. It was a traumatizing period for me.”
When asked the total number of policemen that beat her, Azeez responded: “I could not get the total number of police that brutalised me. But I remember that the police officer that came to join the first person in beating me is fair and was brandishing a baton and cane with him which he beat me with.
“They were also joined by some personnel of the Man O’ War in beating me. The Divisional Crime Officer of Iwo came and halted them. He inquired into what happened and I explained to him and he asked me to leave. I told him I could not because I was dehumanised. I told him they could arrest me.
“The first police officer who beat me was known for his notoriety in the area. His name is Ikuesan. It was while he was beating me that somebody called his name. We all have been hearing about him assaulting people.
“He had allegedly assaulted an old woman two days before he assaulted me. When I told him that I had heard about his nefarious acts, he replied that I would spend six months in jail since I had known him for that.
“While taking me away, they got to know me and my family and they started to apologise. I told them that there was no need to apologise after infringing my civil rights. I was released at the police station. so I went home.
“I was feeling pains all over my body and had to seek medical attention at a private hospital in Iwo. The police came to visit me there and apologized.”
She vowed to seek justice on the assault meted out on her, saying: “One thing I want to assure people is that, this is not just about me. Assault on residents in that area has been rampant. It cannot continue to go on this way.
“I have never had any encounter with the police, in fact I didn’t know any of them, although I had heard about the Ikuesan guy and his assault on people but I had never met him. I have no grudge against the police but on no account should anyone be dehumanized.
“They should have listened to what I came out to do first, there are ways to prosecute me if I have done something wrong. There are laid-down guidelines on dealing with people who violate the sit-at-home order.
“I am still under medical and psychological examination as the damages done to me physically, emotionally and psychologically are unquantifiable. I only pray I overcome the pains and the trauma in no distant time.
“Brutality by the policemen, who should be the custodians and upholders of the law, is nothing but an outright and total disregard for human life, dignity, and the law they claim to uphold.
“I do not consider this as an attack on me alone, rather, it is an attack on all Nigerian women; it is an attack on survivors of physical and sexual violence; it is an attack on women’s rights; it is an attack on the harmless citizens; it is an attack on justice, and there must be consequences.”
However, OSUN DEFENDER gathered on Wednesday that the two policemen that attacked the woman, Inspector Taiwo Ikuesan with AP/NO 251724 and PC Ibrahim Abass with F/NO 509634 have been dismissed from service.
The Commissioner of Police in the State of Osun, MrJohnson Kokumo had identified, arrested, and detained the erring policemen involved in the unlawful assault immediately the incident occurred.
Both Ikuesan and Abass were made to face force disciplinary procedure of orderly room trial for their unprofessional conduct.