27 Nigerian police officers assaulted during lockdown
PRETORIA - Twenty-seven Nigerian police officers have been assaulted by the public since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, said the inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu.
Premium Times reported on Monday that the force's public relations officer, Frank Mba, disclosed this information in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
The incidents occurred at different times and in various locations.
Adamu said some of the officers were still in hospital receiving treatment because of the injuries inflicted on them during the attacks.
“A female police officer in Agbor, Delta State, was seriously assaulted when a police team was dispersing a group of persons who were holding a birthday party in clear disobedience of the social restrictions and distancing orders.
“Apart from the attack on the person of police officers, some of these citizens have also carried out attacks on police assets and facilities.
“For example, two police stations and police quarters were attacked and burnt down in Katsina and Abia states, while 15 police vehicles and motorcycles were also damaged,” Adamu was quoted as saying.
Adamu commended an officer who didn't retaliate when he was attacked by a woman, as seen in a video that went viral on social media.
“The officer, like a lamb being led to the slaughter, did not fight back but rather maintained absolute calm, patience and decorum even as the woman rough-handled him and slapped him several times," he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the situation is reversed in South Africa, where there have been numerous reports of police brutality towards residents during lockdown. A number of deaths have also been reported.
In the latest report by GroundUp, a 62-year-old man from KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, said he would be taking the police to court after he was allegedly assaulted and shot and his phone was allegedly damaged after officers accused him of filming their lockdown operations.
Johnson Kula, a retired court interpreter, reportedly said he was walking along Laurence Vinqi Road when a convoy of SAPS, army, metro police and traffic officers sped towards him.
“I was all alone in the street, carrying my plastic bag of groceries. My cellphone rang but I didn’t recognise the number. I was looking at the screen when a police officer shouted from a police van: ‘He is (filming] us.’ The convoy stopped a metre from me,” he was quoted as saying.
Kula said five police officers approached him. One grabbed his cellphone and again asked whether he had been filming them.
“He insisted I was (recording) them. I pleaded for them to look at my phone to confirm I had not taken a video. The officer threw my phone on the ground and trampled on it. He said it was illegal to take a video of their convoy.
“One of the cops standing behind me hit me with a rifle on my head and I fell down. He shouted, ‘We saw you (filming) us and don’t talk when we talk. We are officers.’ All the five officers surrounded me, kicked and trampled my upper body,” Kula was quoted as saying.African News Agency