Edo State Police Command and a vigilance group in the state clashed over the torture of two policemen who were accused of dealing in hemp.
NEWSCASTARS.COM had reported that two policemen were apprehended by members of the vigilance group, who handcuffed and interrogated them over possession of hemp.
The vigilantes, led by one John Ohonba, alias Awilo, also queried some of the items alleged to be in the possession of the policemen.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, a spokesman for the state police command, SP Kontongs Bello, said the narrative by Awilo and his men was false.
The statement read, “The attention of the Edo State Police Command has been drawn to a viral video where two policemen (drivers) in mufti attached to the Highway Patrol, Edo State Police Command, were handcuffed, physically brutalised and tortured by members of a vigilance group led by one John Osasere Ohonba, alias Awilo.
“Contrary to the false and malicious narrative by Awilo and his group that the two policemen were suspected drug dealers and connivers with an alleged suspect, Ikpefua Idowu, in the custody of the group, the fact of the incident is that the two policemen went to the vigilantes’ office with one Lucky and his girlfriend to merely seek the whereabouts of Ikpefua Idowu, who was arrested by Awilo and his group.
“Not minding the fact that the policemen introduced themselves and were identified by Awilo and his group, Awilo did not only order that the policemen be physically assaulted, it was evidenced in the viral video that Mr Awilo, who wore a red jacket, initiated and participated actively in the attack.
“It is pertinent at this juncture to convey that it is a known fact to Mr Awilo and his group that the vehicle, Lexus RX 330 SUV captured in the viral video belongs to Lucky, a brother of the detained Ikpefua Idowu in the custody of Awilo and his vigilance group, on whose behalf the policemen went to sort for.
“It is incontrovertible therefore that the items allegedly found in the vehicle wouldn’t have in any way belong to the policemen as falsely projected in the viral video. It belongs to Lucky.
“It is necessary to further state that the mission of the policemen was merely fact-finding, which Awilo and his group considered a distraction and unfortunately unleashed unnecessary attack on them. This has presently necessitated admission of the men in hospital having being diagnosed with internal haemorrhage.”