A lecturer in the Department of Business Management, University of Calabar, Mr. Okon Effiong Ekpenyong, has lost four teeth after he was allegedly brutalised by some officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Cross River State command, for traffic offence.
Ekpenyong, who narrated his ordeal on Thursday, said his vehicle developed a minor fault on Bassey Oqua Street in Calabar, near the NIS headquarters. He said after fixing it, he was leaving the area when the officials accosted and assaulted him, saying he made a U-turn at an unauthorised point.
According to Ekpenyong, who says he has been residing on Ekong Bassey Close, near the NIS headquarters, for the past 10 years, the incident happened on his way home at about 5pm on May 6, 2014.
He explained that after the incident, which took place in the presence of his two sons, he lost four teeth and over N50,000 which was in his pocket.
He said, “After the car developed a fault, I called some people to help push it off the road and I went home to get my two sons to buy fuel in a jerry can because I suspected it might be petrol since the gauge was faulty.
“I tried to start the car after refueling, but it did not start. We had to push it down the Bassey Oqua Street, which is close to the NIS residential quarters.
“Immediately the car started, two NIS officials flagged me down; I obeyed. They said I had just made a U-turn at an unauthorised point and they concluded that I was a Boko Haram suspect, adding that they would not waste time in dealing with me.
“Immediately, about 10 other officials joined them, they forced me out of the car and started hitting me with gun butts and other weapons. I passed out in the process.”
Ekpenyong said before he became unconscious, he was able to identify four persons – a deputy comptroller, a chief superintendent and a male and female junior officials.
He said when he later regained consciousness in a cell, a senior NIS official, who identified himself as the provost, pleaded with him and released him to take care of himself in a hospital.
The lecturer said he proceeded to the Airport Police Division in Calabar to report the incident from where he was taken to the Police Clinic for medical attention.
A report, which was issued by an investigating police officer, Edwin Jenuwa, confirmed that Ekpenyong was taken to the clinic at about 6pm with fresh blood stains after suffering assault and grievous harm.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Hogan Bassey, confirmed the incident, saying the matter was currently being investigated.
It was gathered from the police headquarters that the immigration officials had so far refused to honour police invitation on the matter.
Public Relations Officer of the NIS, Cross River Command, Mary Abang, said she had not been briefed on the development.
“I have not been around, I just came back and will find out what happened,” she said
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