The 38-year-old commercial bus driver, Kester Odosi, who was handcuffed to a police Hilux van in Benin, Edo State capital, and driven on the street, has said he fainted after his ordeal.
Odosi said he woke up in a hospital bed, which the policemen allegedly chained him to.
Narrating his ordeal at the Office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 5, Odosi said his ordeal started after a boy the policemen were searching ran away.
He said: “That Sunday, as I was driving my bus, one boy begged me to give him a lift. As I got to Third Junction on Sokponba Road, some policemen from the Esigie Police Division stopped me.ý With the mind that I did not have any incriminating thing in the bus, I parked and waited. They brought me down and searched me. But they did not find anything.
“When the boy, who was with me was searched, they found an empty pack of cigarettes in his pocket. I did not know what was inside the packet of cigarettes. But as soon as they brought the packet out, the boy ran away. I asked them if they would not run after him. But they did not mind him; they were only afterý me.
“They ordered me to bring my hand and I asked what the problem was. But they did not listen to me. They handcuffed me to their vehicle and threatened to pull me along. They said I would accept that I was the boy’s accomplice, if I was tortured.
“I told them I did not know the boy or his whereabouts. But they held me and dragged me from Third (Junction) to First Junction. People who saw me started asking what my offence was.
“So, they (policemen) parked and started hitting me. I did not know what happened afterwards because I fainted. One of them hit me with a wood to see if I was pretending and if I would shout out of pain.ý
“I later saw myself in a hospital on Muritala Mohammed Wayý; I did not know how I got there. I asked the nurse how I got there and why I was handcuffed to the bed. She told me the policemen brought me there.
“One policeman, who was not among those who arrested me, came, took me away from the hospital and kept me in a cell at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). They said I was a cultist.
“ýI am not a cultist and I have never been one since I was born. I am not against policemen and their job. I want them to release me because I did not do anything. I want my phone and money abck. I remit everyday N5,000 to the owner of the seized bus. He has been calculating it since the incident occurred.”
Also, four policemen attached to Esigie Police Division have been arrested and detained at the Office of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 5.
The four policemen faced an orderly room trial yesterday.
They were arrested after pictures and video of their brutality on a commercial bus driver, Kester Odosi, went viral.
Odosi was handcuffed to a police Hilux van and dragged on the ground until he fainted.
Zone 5 AIG Abubakar Adamu described the conduct of the policemen as unprofessional.
The police chief said such behaviour did not depict the ethics and core values of the police in good light.
He said the action violated the principle of democratic policing.
Adamu told reporters the Zonal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (ZCIID) had started full-scale investigation into the incident.
He said anybody found wanting would be sanctioned after the conclusion of investigation.