The Lagos State Police Command has denied an allegation that it detained and starved a pregnant woman after she reported a case of assault, which occurred at Hassan Ogunlana Street, Ijaiye, to operatives of Meiran Division.
The state police spokesperson, Olarinde Famous-Cole, in a statement said that the report was false and investigation into the matter was ongoing.
The woman, Iyabo Taiwo, a 30-year-old pepper seller, had lodged a complaint at the Meiran Police Station against a resident, identified simply as Simon, aka Best, who allegedly pushed her into a drainage channel.
It was gathered that Simon had bought some red peppers from the woman last Monday and was supposed to collect N50 change.
Taiwo alegedly went to visit her ailing husband at a hospital the following day and did not open her shop. But when she arrived her store on Wednesday, Simon was the first customer to approach her for his change.
“I explained to him that I had used all the money on me to buy peppers and begged him to give me little time to sell so that I will give him the change.
“But he dipped his hands into a basket to pack some peppers. So, I held his shirt. He freed himself from my grip and threw me into a gutter. I went to report at the Meiran Police Station and some policemen followed me to arrest him.
“On getting to the station, he spoke in English and Igbo with a police officer. Then, a policeman told me that some people beat him (Simon) and that I would be detained until they arrest those people. Simon was told to go,” she said.
Iyabo added that she was “locked up inside a cell” without food until members of an association she belongs to settled a bail of N4,500 the following day.
A resident of the area said shortly after Taiwo was released on Thursday, Simon allegedly mobilised some thugs to beat two men, Ope and Muri Waheed, who cautioned him for assaulting the woman.
Waheed was said to have also been arrested by police men from the division.
However, Famous-Cole said neither the pregnant woman nor Waheed was detained.
He added that: “The provost of the command is investigating and if there was any misconduct as regards police action, we will deal with that departmentally.”
- Bola Kougbe