Nigerians have demanded justice for a former headmistress of Top-Teez Nursery and Primary School, Ifo, Mrs. Ayodeji Orojo, who was allegedly beaten up by two policemen attached to the Ojodu Abiodun Police Division, Ogun State.
They asked that the erring cops be identified and punished to serve as a deterrent to others.
PUNCH Metro had reported that a stabiliser belonging to the Ojodu Abiodun Divisional Police Officer had been stolen by some hoodlums and the police found the electrical appliance in the compound of a 10-year-old pupil, identified as David.
Six policemen were reported to have stormed the boy’s school where Orojo served as a head teacher, disrupting academic activities in the process.
Orojo, who queried their action, was allegedly beaten up, as her phone was seized after she allegedly attempted to record the attack.
It was reported that the police later released David after his widowed mother, Elizabeth Emeka, paid N19,000 for bail.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had said the police did not know the suspect was a 10-year-old pupil, adding that the DPO had apologised to the school’s proprietress and the matter had been resolved.
Orojo, in a follow-up report, however, demanded that the the cops be punished.
She lamented that her seized phone was smashed and her SIM and memory cards damaged by the police in a bid to destroy evidence.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Modupe Mujota, had told our correspondent that the state was investigating the case “from the perspective of it being a part of our educational ecosystem.”
But Nigerians, who reacted to the report on PUNCH Online and some social media platforms, said the matter must be thoroughly investigated.
A reader, Olumide Soneye, said the policemen who beat up the headmistress wanted to curry favour with the DPO.
“Full loyalty to the boss syndrome in Nigeria is what is causing this near anarchy. Those policemen want to appear loyal to their boss and in the process abandon best practices. I don’t blame those policemen since it’s that behaviour (not merit) that gets you promotion and appointment in Nigeria,” he said.
Another reader, Olawale, said the police should be worried about the impression it made on the pupils on the day of the incident.
He said, “Can any of the children say anything good about the Nigeria Police with the bad attitude displayed in their presence? Where are the human rights activists? The lady needs to be compensated, because I know the police will force her to write a statement under duress. It has happened to me in the past.”
A poster, with the alias, 9jaDy, said the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, should address the matter with urgency.
A reader, Patrick, said, “These ones (policemen) are just ignorant, illiterate idiots. They went to a primary school to arrest someone without doing any investigation and the man that spoke on behalf of the police says “…the mistake the woman made was that while this was on, she was filming the officers…” So, it is a crime to record videos now? These people deserve to suffer slowly for the way they maltreat the common man.”
Another reader, with the alias, AA, urged follow-ups until justice was done.
He said, “Dear PUNCH, please follow up on this. It could be anybody. The media houses have a very serious role to play in helping to rebuild our institutions. These rots are too much! It is appalling. In this 21st century, even if the woman was filming, it was not a mistake from her. In the UK, policemen wear body cams and civilians may insist on filming encounters.”
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of the Education Rights Campaign, Hassan Soweto, told PUNCH Metro that a petition was being prepared against the police.
He explained that the school proprietress and the headmistress had agreed to pursue an action against the police.
He said, “Aside from the apology the DPO made to the school, nothing more was done to compensate for the brutality of the headmistress who resigned because she was afraid for her life. The police station concerned is just beside the school. Also, the policemen who beat her up have not been punished. These are issues we are raising in the petition.”
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